Spell Proposal: Countermutation


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Post Sunday, 23rd November 2014, 05:42

Spell Proposal: Countermutation

Spell Proposal

Name: Countermutation
Schools: Transmutation/Hexes
Level: 9
Book: Transfigurations

Function

This spell allows the caster to transmute gold into a hexed elixir that is instantly absorbed through the skin, thereby creating a hyperaware state that allows for the controlled removal of one non-native mutation.

The spell costs gold to cast, whether successful or not. This is the primary limiting factor against abuse. The amount of gold used should be a random value between 400-600 (+/-150) gold per level of the mutation selected for removal. A Boolean prompt is issued before attempting to cast it, because any attempt to cast the spell, successful or not, will result in a permanent loss of gold, the amount depending upon the following factors.

Once the player confirms their intent to cast the spell, the random value of the cure is determined unseen. This can range from 250 gold at the lowest to 2250 gold for a level 3 mutation. The player must then select the mutation to remove, which can be either good or bad. A successful casting will always cost 100% of the calculated total of the cure. Spell failure will also still result in the loss of gold, but equal to the total cost times the spell failure rate, with no cure effected. These are extreme disincentives for ill-considered attempts to remove mutations.

Note that no check is made upon the player's funds in the beginning of the process. In the case of a player whose funds are not sufficient for the cost of the cure, then all the gold is spent fruitlessly in the unsuccessful attempt to make the cure, noted by a message such as, "All of your remaining gold is transfused into your body, but it wasn't quite enough."

Also, when there is more than one level of the selected mutation to be cured, and the gold available is only enough for curing one level, then that one level of the mutation will be cured, but again all remaining gold will be spent in the process, noted by another message such as, "You feel that you could have effected a full cure with more gold."

The fact that the actual cost is unknown except roughly at the outset will require that the player highball estimates before attempting to cast the spell, which will also help counter abuses, since the loss of so much gold for nothing would be costly.

Finally, the spell is severely taxing to the player's health. The dermal transfusion of hexed gold that comes from a successful casting permanently reduces HP by the number of levels of the mutation that were cured, paralyzes the player for 10-20 turns, followed by exhaustion for 20-50 turns, and then wrapped up with rotting status until cured, the result of the used elixir decaying in the body. This spell will not be cast mid-battle. It will require judicious use in all cases.

Purpose

This proposal is an attempt to solve the problem of the mutation seesaw, especially in extended, where mutations generally end up being an all or nothing affair for anyone who doesn't worship Jivya. Any attempt to manage mutations otherwise is limited to the carpet-bomb approach of the potion of cure mutation, which destroys mutations numerously and indiscriminately. The seesaw is to get mutations, some good, then get more bad, then quaff !curemut until the superbad is gone, usually resulting in all of them being gone, then repeat, and then repeat, over and over. It is senseless and not very fun. This spell would provide an alternative for anyone who wishes to get more out of mutations, and although it would require a serious desire and effort to make it work, it would be available to almost all. Certainly not early, probably not abundantly, but perhaps, maybe, mercifully.

Alternative

Just create a new potion called "remove mutation" that does something similar, and rename the current potion to its proper appellation of "cure mutations." The rarity of the new potion could be set equal to that of a potion of experience, which would seriously limit availability outside of ziggurats.

Summary

The mutations aspect of the game is too widely important to be limited to one's god choice. This spell provides a prospect for advancing that part of the game. The potion alternative would work, too, but wouldn't be nearly as fun or challenging.

Implementation

If there is interested approval for this idea, then I would endeavor to work on the code myself. My intention is not to create work for others to do, but to see whether or not others would like for me to do some work.

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Post Sunday, 23rd November 2014, 07:04

Re: Spell Proposal: Countermutation

"Remember Zin? He's back! In spell form."

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Post Sunday, 23rd November 2014, 07:29

Re: Spell Proposal: Countermutation

Using gold to limit the use of a strategic spell is an interesting idea. It's not a spell used in a fight but it's also not super tedious to use it all the time because the number of uses is significantly limited. The spell success chance also stays relevant because it costs gold even for failed attempts, so that's great. There's the matter of getting and wearing every +int item possible before casting this though.
-Losing gold for nothing if there wasn't enough gold is not acceptable. Players will have to look up min/max cost values.
-There's no reason to cast this spell in a fight so there's no reason for it to have negative effects like paralyze and rot.
There's overlap with 2 gods for having many positive mutations and no/few negatives and there's some overlap with cure mut and Zin for removing mutations even if you get to keep the good ones. This is why I think the effect would be better as gain a random positive mutation. It results in many good mutations while forcing the player to keep all the bad ones they get later. I think it shouldn't be /hexes because there's no mechanical or flavor reason for it to be /hexes.

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Post Sunday, 23rd November 2014, 08:42

Re: Spell Proposal: Countermutation

Just to clarify a a few points you raised:

Wahaha wrote:Using gold to limit the use of a strategic spell is an interesting idea.

Borrowed the idea from certain cards in decks, notably the Alchemist card.

-There's no reason to cast this spell in a fight so there's no reason for it to have negative effects like paralyze and rot.

Trying maybe too hard to make it too hard?

I think it shouldn't be /hexes because there's no mechanical or flavor reason for it to be /hexes.

To make it harder, for one, because training two schools is more a commitment than one, but I also think hexes do have precedent. I was thinking Inner Flame, Metabolic Englaciation and Ensorcelled Hibernation all had the flavor of affecting internal bodies when I chose it.

Those are my thoughts, and I don't argue with anything you said. It's a rough draft idea that might hopefully get a ball rolling. Your interest is appreciated.

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Post Sunday, 23rd November 2014, 15:41

Re: Spell Proposal: Countermutation

#1: Grinding up to be able to cast a level 9, dual-skill spell is something that should radically alter your game. A character that has Fire Storm plays differently as a direct result of this investment; the player's choice in making that humongous investment is rewarded. This spell would be used maybe two or three times in a substantial manner, and maybe a few other times purely from OCD.

#2: This spell has no connection in application to builds that use either transmutations or hexes. Users are likely to be training up to that level 9 spell from 0 in both magic skills, and will not necessarily have been using that investment for anything else. Such an absolutely enormous investment of xp is almost certainly going to be a worse choice than putting that xp into something that is actually useful, and consequently the spell would exist only as a trap choice for players. Not even the worst bad mutations of the lot are as bad as wasting enough xp to get a level 9 spell that you aren't going to regularly use.

#3: The mutation system is not improved by reliability. The existence of a reliable way to repair your mutation list leads to tedious behaviors like leading ugly thing packs to secure areas so you can eat them later, and other farming behaviors. The proposed spell is overtly designed to enable mutation farming, and its drawbacks are mostly requirements for additional farming.

This proposal should be abandoned.

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Post Sunday, 23rd November 2014, 16:09

Re: Spell Proposal: Countermutation

#1: Grinding up to be able to cast a level 9, dual-skill spell is something that should radically alter your game. A character that has Fire Storm plays differently as a direct result of this investment; the player's choice in making that humongous investment is rewarded. This spell would be used maybe two or three times in a substantial manner, and maybe a few other times purely from OCD.

It's fully intended to be something purely optional for those who care about such things. It would also seem to be of use only late in the game, when there is no real grinding to speak of (I'm thinking of a single ziggurat run), so it wouldn't necessarily change anyone's play style unless they were intent on getting it running as early as humanly possible.

#2: This spell has no connection in application to builds that use either transmutations or hexes. Users are likely to be training up to that level 9 spell from 0 in both magic skills, and will not necessarily have been using that investment for anything else. Such an absolutely enormous investment of xp is almost certainly going to be a worse choice than putting that xp into something that is actually useful, and consequently the spell would exist only as a trap choice for players. Not even the worst bad mutations of the lot are as bad as wasting enough xp to get a level 9 spell that you aren't going to regularly use.

You say trap, but I say choice, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Make it a lower level spell then. Problem solved.

KoboldLord wrote:#3: The mutation system is not improved by reliability. The existence of a reliable way to repair your mutation list leads to tedious behaviors like leading ugly thing packs to secure areas so you can eat them later, and other farming behaviors. The proposed spell is overtly designed to enable mutation farming, and its drawbacks are mostly requirements for additional farming.

There is fundamental disagreement with this opinion. Reliability is an improvement for the sake of being able to make choices, play intelligently, and perhaps most importantly, to be able to have more fun. Attempts to sap all sources of said fun in the name of protecting against purely hypothetical "abuses" is not necessarily optimal, either.

I also note that you made no mention of the alternative proposal in your dismissal of the drive and purpose of the idea, which would seem to demonstrates a bias that is not based solely upon the merits of what you outlined above.

The proposal is balanced, and should not be so readily abandoned.

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Post Sunday, 23rd November 2014, 16:17

Re: Spell Proposal: Countermutation

Since this is expressly designed as an out-of-combat spell I would suggest instead designing it as something that is not a spell. That fixes the problems inherent with out-of-combat spells.

I think regardless this is extremely unlikely to make it into crawl. (See also: alter self.)

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Post Sunday, 23rd November 2014, 16:40

Re: Spell Proposal: Countermutation

crate wrote:Since this is expressly designed as an out-of-combat spell I would suggest instead designing it as something that is not a spell. That fixes the problems inherent with out-of-combat spells.

Like a potion, perhaps?

I think regardless this is extremely unlikely to make it into crawl. (See also: alter self.)

  Code:
Malmutation Sources
===================
Neqoxec
Cacodemon
Shining eye
Orb of fire
mutagenic clouds
mutagenic melee attacks
Transmutations miscast effects

These are quite common and unavoidable in extended, and only the seemingly unachievable rMut 3 will reliably protect against them. Because of this, there is no fun at all available in the mutation game for most characters in extended.

This problem will not go away even if the stated proposal (and its unremarked alternative), and any and all all others attempting to address this, are made to disappear entirely.

It's a mathematical function of the thoughts of those who play the game. Inclusiveness or exclusivity is also a choice. OCD people do play the game. (Someone's been spying on me tinkering around in my stash...)

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Post Sunday, 23rd November 2014, 17:02

Re: Spell Proposal: Countermutation

quite common [in extended]

ok (though I don't really agree)
and unavoidable in extended

nope

Even if we ignore Jiyva (who is an option for any character) and Zin then you can still block a vast majority of all mutation attempts with summons. It's reliable enough that I'm quite confident that you can get through pan and slime (and hells, I guess, there aren't really many mutations in hell though) without getting mutated by enemies reasonably reliably if you have rmut for the rare times you get malmutated before you can do anything. It's not 100% reliable but that is kind of the point.

There's also lichform, if you want to use that.

(Orbs of fire are actually significantly more likely to mutate you than almost anything else, since the options of "block LOF with other things" and "kill them quickly" are both a lot harder to execute. However they also only exist in the final area of the game, and if you go there before you plan to win you are willingly exchanging a chance of getting malmutated for the opportunity to ... clear zot earlier? Neqoxecs, shining eyes, and cacodemons are pretty wimpy though.

edit: I guess orbs of fire are also in ziggurats, again you're accepting the risk of mutation if you go there.)

The one source of mutations that actually is kind of unavoidable is hell effect contam, which you didn't mention (and may have been changed since the last time I really did hells).

Wretched stars are also reasonably unavoidable but only give temporary mutations so I assume they don't count.

Also I brought up alter self since it really is very similar to the spell you're suggesting. And alter self was removed for a reason.
Last edited by crate on Sunday, 23rd November 2014, 17:09, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Sunday, 23rd November 2014, 17:06

Re: Spell Proposal: Countermutation

there is no fun at all available in the mutation game for most characters in extended.


Some people might consider playing with a handicap (a bad mutation) and/or avoiding being mutated fun and challenging.

While it isn't a fundamental problem with the idea, the current design rewards spoiler use too much - if you don't know the exact gold values, which I assume you would need to get from the code or other spoilers, you might lose your gold without knowing you didn't have enough.

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Post Sunday, 23rd November 2014, 17:12

Re: Spell Proposal: Countermutation

Aule, this idea is bad and you are ignoring various people stating it is bad and explaining why it is bad.

Aule wrote:Attempts to sap all sources of said fun in the name of protecting against purely hypothetical "abuses" is not necessarily optimal, either.
An exploit isn't really "hypothetical" anymore when somebody explicitly describes how to exploit both version of the proposed feature.

That exploit alone is enough to make the proposal as-is unsalvageable, and several other points made in-thread show the idea is bad several times over.
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Post Sunday, 23rd November 2014, 17:19

Re: Spell Proposal: Countermutation

cerebovssquire wrote:
there is no fun at all available in the mutation game for most characters in extended.


Some people might consider playing with a handicap (a bad mutation) and/or avoiding being mutated fun and challenging.

While it isn't a fundamental problem with the idea, the current design rewards spoiler use too much - if you don't know the exact gold values, which I assume you would need to get from the code or other spoilers, you might lose your gold without knowing you didn't have enough.

I figured that would only happen once, and the notifying message would prevent future errors. But yeah, I don't disagree with removing such concerns. In fact, I have no dog in the fight overall, but only wish to see something more accessible provided to this area of the game. I am completely open not only to rejection of the proposal, but also the included secondary alternative proposal (still unremarked upon), as long as some gears become engaged in addressing this issue.

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Post Sunday, 23rd November 2014, 17:21

Re: Spell Proposal: Countermutation

Making potion of cure mutation more selective about which mutations it cures has been suggested several times. The first such result I found via tavern search: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=13531

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Post Sunday, 23rd November 2014, 17:32

Re: Spell Proposal: Countermutation

reaver wrote:Aule, this idea is bad and you are ignoring various people stating it is bad and explaining why it is bad.

How can I be ignoring anyone when I am replying to everyone, openly without dismissal? That's a strange attitude to take. I haven't argued that the idea is not bad, but only that there is an issue that I am attempting to address. By all means, if there are weaknesses or even fatalities, do point them out. I am seeking your discussion.

An exploit isn't really "hypothetical" anymore when somebody explicitly describes how to exploit both version of the proposed feature.

That exploit alone is enough to make the proposal as-is unsalvageable, and several other points made in-thread show the idea is bad several times over.

I gathered a couple of positive reactions and a couple of negative reactions, so the consensus is by no means unanimous.

Care to comment on the substance and purpose of the proposal(s) so that maybe better details can come forth? Do you fundamentally disagree with purpose of the proposals? I'd abandon this tack completely if you show me a better one to take that doesn't involve simply ignoring the matter.

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Post Sunday, 23rd November 2014, 17:40

Re: Spell Proposal: Countermutation

Aule wrote:mutagenic clouds
mutagenic melee attacks
Transmutations miscast effects

these are definitely "quite common" and "unavoidable in extended"

The one source of mutations that actually is kind of unavoidable is hell effect contam, which you didn't mention (and may have been changed since the last time I really did hells).

well, !cancellation exists now and contam is pretty rare as a hell effect iirc

as for the actual spell proposal it's really bad, anyone who can cast a level 9 dual school spell (with two of the least useful schools, no less) could just use another level 9 offensive spell to kill mutators (one even costs half as much exp as it and comes in a school that you could expect to learn a level 9 spell in) or even kill them with LOF/LOS control if you aren't casting

and hell, you could even do ~10 floors of a zig for cmut which pretty much everyone can do and it doesn't even cost permanent hp and !curing or even a huge amount of exp on nothing particularly useful!
in short this spell is a really bad idea

e: nevermind like 5 people replied while i was typing this out

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Post Sunday, 23rd November 2014, 17:49

Re: Spell Proposal: Countermutation

All right. The reaction tally is four negative, four neutral, and one positive. If this trend is indicative of the final tally, one must conclude the proposal in either form as dead. Nevertheless, it has been less than 24 hours since the OP was made, so whether or not the instant results provide an accurate metric for consent is indeterminate. I don't know that the sample size is adequate to draw a final conclusion, so I have to remain objective for a little while. Please bear with me.

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Post Sunday, 23rd November 2014, 17:51

Re: Spell Proposal: Countermutation

Aule wrote:All right. The reaction tally is four negative, four neutral, and one positive. If this trend is indicative of the final tally, one must conclude the proposal in either form as dead. Nevertheless, it has been less than 24 hours since the OP was made, so whether or not the instant results provide an accurate metric for consent is indeterminate. I don't know that the sample size is adequate to draw a final conclusion, so I have to remain objective for a little while. Please bear with me.


It's not a democracy, a dev told you the idea is unsalvageable.

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Post Sunday, 23rd November 2014, 18:30

Re: Spell Proposal: Countermutation

cerebovssquire wrote:It's not a democracy, a dev told you the idea is unsalvageable.

Never said it was a democracy. Is a dev also all devs? Mainly looking at the impetus for change, now, not the details of it.

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Post Sunday, 23rd November 2014, 19:26

Re: Spell Proposal: Countermutation

Aule wrote:
reaver wrote:Aule, this idea is bad and you are ignoring various people stating it is bad and explaining why it is bad.

How can I be ignoring anyone when I am replying to everyone, openly without dismissal? That's a strange attitude to take. [...] I am seeking your discussion.


"Ignore" was not the correct word, but some of your responses are kind of passive-aggressive, which can make people feel that they are not being heard even when you respond. This might not have been your intent, but you have to be careful with comments like this:

Aule wrote: Care to comment on the substance and purpose of the proposal(s) so that maybe better details can come forth?


This appears to be soliciting and encouraging conversation, but actually the implication is that what the person just said was not substantive, but this implication is made without presenting a clear claim and an argument as to why. You also asserted that KoboldLord is biased simply because he didn't respond to every point in your OP, for instance, despite the fact that he brought up some valid criticisms. These kinds of comments aren't directly offensive or mean, or even aggressive, but they are nonetheless toxic to discussion.

I know, it is frustrating when you put a lot of thought into a proposal and take the time to write it up (I've been there too), but several people also put the time in to read your proposal and consider it seriously. And it isn't actually a discussion if you aren't willing to revisit your assumptions and premises: Would it be good for the game if a spell (or potion or anything else) allowed you to trade gold for the removal of bad mutations? Is that an interesting option for players to have?

Mutations aren't my favorite part of the game, and there are plenty of things I don't particularly like about them, but what does work and is interesting in my experience is how you have to be careful about positioning around things that can malmutate. (For this reason I don't think OoF need malmutation, since it sort of defeats the purpose on such a fast, hard to kill enemy, so I actually think OoF should lose the mutation shtick, but that's a tangent.) Malmutate is an indirect threat that operates through line of fire, which thus changes your movement priorities during an engagement. Bad mutations also work fairly well as a punishment for overbuffing, or staying hasted all the time while casting spells with poor failure rates, etc.

However, I don't think that maintaining a set of good mutations that you have grinded/scummed for is a particularly fun mini-game within Crawl. We court that danger somewhat already with Zigs and potions of benemut, etc. And we already have more than one god that will substantially alter the way that mutations impact your game, either removing them from consideration (Zin) or making them a much more prevalent part of your game (Xom, Jiyva). Adding in more spells or potions beyond this that are specifically tailored for creating a character with a carefully curated mutation set would push mutations strongly into the territory of Nethack's "intrinsics," IMO, and I think that is something Crawl should avoid.

I agree with Wahaha that there is design space in Crawl for more things (including perhaps a spell, and tmut obviously fits thematically here) that use gold as a resource, and there may be interesting things one could do with that. But this spell has a number of problems, as others have pointed out, so I don't think this spell is the right way to explore that idea.

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Post Sunday, 23rd November 2014, 19:50

Re: Spell Proposal: Countermutation

you could just scum zigs indefinitely for a whole heap of benemut potions, then quaff them all at once and you'd probably achieve the same effect.

the point was that being allowed to scum your mutation list is bad, even though it is already achievable to some degree in game, with a couple of gods and a particular potion.

making that more accessible is a problem

(also, mutations and making them scummable has been brought up a few times already; search it up if you're curious. the responses are mostly similar)
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Post Sunday, 23rd November 2014, 21:06

Re: Spell Proposal: Countermutation

I think there are, to some extend, two different debates here: are mutations in extended a problem, and is this spell a solution to them? i think there is room for some debate on the first topic - at the very least, they can probably be improved - although they're definitely much less of a problem than many people believe them to be, probably because people tend to overreact to the severity of malmutations even though only a handful are actually potentially character-ruining. For the second one, there seems to be no debate. Whether the problems this spell is designed to solve exist or not, this spell would definitely cause more problems than it would solve. I'm all for finding ways to improve the mutation system, but that's going to require far more tuning quite a few mechanics, rather than just adding a single extremely clunky and abusable new way to cure them.

notcluie wrote:
The one source of mutations that actually is kind of unavoidable is hell effect contam, which you didn't mention (and may have been changed since the last time I really did hells).

well, !cancellation exists now and contam is pretty rare as a hell effect iirc



Cancellation's pretty rare, though, and it often takes multiple uses of it to avoid getting malmutated by the hell effect. Personally, I'd be in favor of removing all strategic hell effects if they haven't been removed already (i.e. contam and rot), since I think they add nothing of value other than penalize you for not having any spare cancellation or curing leftover after the first 11 runes, but that's probably a discussion for another thread.

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Post Sunday, 23rd November 2014, 21:10

Re: Spell Proposal: Countermutation

@and into: Thanks for your point of view, here. It is difficult if not impossible to divine the intentions of a poster through text, so this can easily lead to misunderstanding or misplaced judgment. I am just as guilty as anyone of this mistake. I appreciate your taking the time to express those thoughts, which I also happen to agree with.

I suppose I will remain frustrated with the mutation experience until a real solution (applicable broadly) is presented.

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Post Sunday, 23rd November 2014, 21:12

Re: Spell Proposal: Countermutation

Quazifuji wrote:I think there are, to some extend, two different debates here: are mutations in extended a problem, and is this spell a solution to them? i think there is room for some debate on the first topic - at the very least, they can probably be improved - although they're definitely much less of a problem than many people believe them to be, probably because people tend to overreact to the severity of malmutations even though only a handful are actually potentially character-ruining.

Thanks for recognizing the fork. Even a frank discussion of this first issue (which drove the failed proposal) would be something hopeful.

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Post Monday, 24th November 2014, 00:00

Re: Spell Proposal: Countermutation

Here I also add for clarity, not counterargument or anything provocative. A postmortem of this tension that seems to surround my interactions here.

and into wrote:
Aule wrote: Care to comment on the substance and purpose of the proposal(s) so that maybe better details can come forth?


This appears to be soliciting and encouraging conversation, but actually the implication is that what the person just said was not substantive, but this implication is made without presenting a clear claim and an argument as to why. You also asserted that KoboldLord is biased simply because he didn't respond to every point in your OP, for instance, despite the fact that he brought up some valid criticisms. These kinds of comments aren't directly offensive or mean, or even aggressive, but they are nonetheless toxic to discussion.

I do apologize to KoboldLord or anyone else that has taken offense to my comments. My intentions are harmless.

I would like to offer the same depth of explanation now with regard to my thoughts at the time I answered reaver. From my perspective, after posting, I received first a cheeky comment (nicolae), followed by a response that seemed warm to the idea (Wahaha), and then a list of opinions that concluded with a call to end discussion (KoboldLord), then a neutral constructive criticism (crate), and another, more negative but still constructive criticism by the same author, followed by another neutral constructive criticism (cerebovssquire), and finally an accusation that I was ignoring everyone telling me how bad the idea was, that the idea is bad, and unsalvageable, and finally "bad several times over." That's when replied to reaver, to whom I also meant no offense whatsoever, since it was actually his response to another proposal elsewhere that encouraged me to submit my own here.

I'm still not sure how in weighing the differing opinions of a small group of respondents one finds what is considered authoritative, so I sought clarity. Certainly, the various suggestions, criticisms and agreements of a variety of individuals cannot all summarily carry the force of a papal bull, else my own opinions would be among that authority. I hope you can understand how confusing this all seems. Before reaver's message and the tone it conveyed, agreeing in full as I saw it with only one previous respondent in calling for end of discussion, I thought it was going well, and I was thinking of ways to implement various suggestions. I engaged everyone with politeness and respect, and somehow the discussion turned into one of Aule's personal faults. Huh?

Where does discussion take place if not in discussion?

Ah, well.

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Post Monday, 24th November 2014, 06:13

Re: Spell Proposal: Countermutation

Sorry, I didn't mean to derail the thread.

To elaborate a bit on the pertinent bits of my last post, the randomness involved both in gaining mutations (including good mutations) and of removing mutations is one major cornerstone of Crawl's system. This is good for a number of reasons. There's the whole anti-scumming, anti-grinding aspect, yes. But also it prevents mutations in DCSS from becoming like "intrinsics" in Nethack. In the context of Crawl, a way to reliably tailor your mutations would make the whole system into a way to gain (relatively) permanent additional jewelry slots. This is power creep, but also not very interesting, as it detracts a lot from the significance of what items you wear and even what species you chose if everyone is running around with +30% HP and rF+ and innate SInv and so on. Making the spell require so much experience might in one sense be balanced, simply because it would alter the game only at a very late stage at which point you could have just won, but even that does not change the fact that the spell's fundamental effect would be negative (in terms of game play and design) for any characters that did manage to pick it up. Xom and Jiyva foreground mutations, but you don't get absolute control and in either case your mutation set will be very fluid, so it still doesn't completely break with the fundamentals of Crawl's system. (And anyway gods and species are often the best way to bend or play with the usual design parameters a bit, precisely because both species and god choice offer a whole bunch of features and conducts, all in one tidy package. This allows you to do stuff like "This god gives you permanent allies, but also abilities to help you manage those allies so that they are much less annoying to use.")

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Arrhythmia, Aule

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Post Tuesday, 25th November 2014, 15:57

Re: Spell Proposal: Countermutation

I agree with most of the previously posted issues with this proposal, and I don't think there's any chance of this spell or something similar being added to Crawl. That's not to say that you were wrong to propose it -- not every proposal will be a winner, and (just as in Crawl) we often learn the most from our failures.

There are I think there are a few main points to consider when looking back on this:
1) the premise behind the proposal is shared by some players but not, as far as I know, by the players and devs that most drive development and design, making it unlikely that any proposal based on this premise to get significant support without at least finding a way to change people's minds about the premise.
2) The design of the proposal contradicts crawl philosophy (no farming!), replicates an existing and removed spell, and steps on the toes of three already-implemented gods; better research into current and past design and philosophy around this topic could have helped craft a proposal more likely to receive positive feedback.
3) The popularity of an idea or proposal in the Tavern/GDD is orthogonal to whether that proposal will (or should) be implemented. This is a good space (IMO) to make proposals, to make arguments about what sorts of proposals should be accepted, and to generally discuss the game and its future, but the majority of the proposals and discussion here will not directly result in a change. You should come to the table expecting that you're not here to effect a change but rather to make the argument in favor of a change, and that your argument may well not succeed in influencing others. If you make an effort to understand the goals motivating design and then use that understanding to make a clear case that is consonant with that design direction, it may be that your idea will catch on with someone who can carry it forward to development; or it may be that if you listen carefully to the discussion around your idea, you find that your ideas have changed and maybe that will inspire you to even better ideas for Crawl's future. In either case, you won't get far without carefully considering what's being said in response to your ideas and why its being said.

There are an awful lot of us who love Crawl and have ideas about how to make it a better game, but most of us differ in what we consider to make the game better. We have to look at the design principles guiding the project, put on our best editing glasses, engage with the community already working on the game, and do our best.

Edit: clarified an awkward sentence.
Last edited by Lasty on Tuesday, 25th November 2014, 19:05, edited 1 time in total.

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crate, PleasingFungus, rockygargoyle

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Post Tuesday, 25th November 2014, 16:06

Re: Spell Proposal: Countermutation

What about a spell that temporarily removes all mutations, good and bad, releasing the mutational energy in a burst that does damage to everything in LOS (the more mutations, the more damage.) The mutations return after the duration ends, so the spell can't be cast again until then.

Actually, if this existed it should be a consumable or god ability rather than a spell, otherwise it could be used to suppress all mutations indefinitely.

Barkeep

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Post Tuesday, 25th November 2014, 17:47

Re: Spell Proposal: Countermutation

Jeremiah wrote:What about a spell that temporarily removes all mutations, good and bad, releasing the mutational energy in a burst that does damage to everything in LOS (the more mutations, the more damage.) The mutations return after the duration ends, so the spell can't be cast again until then.

Actually, if this existed it should be a consumable or god ability rather than a spell, otherwise it could be used to suppress all mutations indefinitely.


Effects that produce two extremely different things at the same time tend to be awkward (not universally, but generally). Recall that ?vulnerability used to do what it currently does, plus what !cancellation does now. The current implementation, where the two effects are separate, is much better. Take away the combination of effects you proposed, and you have on the one hand an effect that suppresses mutations, which is really just a more annoying version of !cure mutation, which we already have. On the other hand, you have an effect that deals damage based on how many mutations you have, kind of like silver ego but in reverse, and that could potentially be fun.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 25th November 2014, 19:26

Re: Spell Proposal: Countermutation

Aule: If you'd like to play around with something somewhat similiar to your suggestion, try firing up a .8 game and using the spell alter self. It gives you a random mutation, but as gaining mutations can also remove pre-existing mutations, you could use it to shuffle your mutation set until you get rid of the bad one that's bothering you. It has a high hunger cost and damaged you, but you can rest and there's plenty of food, or use necromutation to have infinite food. If you play around with it enough I think you'll see why it was removed :)

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