Proposed Additions to the Poison School


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

Temple Termagant

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Post Sunday, 7th December 2014, 22:12

Proposed Additions to the Poison School

I hope that this post will be sufficient so that and into doesn't get his panties in a wad.

Why?: The poison school currently has no spells past level 6 and, excepting poison arrow, no spells that work on poison resistant enemies. As a result, poison is undesirable mid-late game and a bit of a waste of skill points. The following suggestions aim to flesh out the poison school and provide mid-late game functionality.

Level 7: Summon Tainted Forest - Poison/Summoning/Translocation
Functions similarly to summon forest, except that the healthy trees of summon forest are replaced with dead or dying ones. The dryad is replaced with a tainted treant and the snaplasher vines with some sort of poison spewing plant creature.

Level 8: Poison Form - Poison/Transmutation
This spell is meant to function as an escape spell with some offensive bite. The caster turns into a swirling cloud of poison. As a result, the caster may not attack in melee or ranged and spell casting becomes much more difficult. In exchange, the caster radiates clouds of poison, receives a significant (75%?) reduction in incoming damage, and gains a 1 aut bonus to move speed.

Level 9: Miasma Storm - Poison/Conjuration
This spell is meant to function as an end game damage dealer. In order to be so it should be smite targeted and deal a portion of its damage as physical. Living creatures slain by it will rise as friendly zombies.

Barkeep

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Post Sunday, 7th December 2014, 22:32

Re: Proposed Additions to the Poison School

There have been lots of threads about this in the past, and your initial post was literally two suggestions for spells without any context, so yes, I moved it to CYC. If you wanted me to revisit that decision there were lots of more effective and less obnoxious ways to do so.

Aside from that, this post is better at explaining where you are coming from with your proposals and what you hope they will add to the game, and this is always better for discussion than just throwing your ideas out there, which then just puts people into a position of simply rejecting your ideas, or accepting them, which doesn't give much substance to talk about. So, you know, there are reasons behind the guidelines in the stickied GDD post that reads "You Must Read This Before Posting in GDD"—and, for the record, those aren't guidelines that I wrote. It was written by Grimm but with wide support of the community (with whom, at least ostensibly, you wish to discuss Crawl).

But anyway, yeah, this is fine for GDD. And for the record my panties remained unfurled—unflapped, even—throughout this bit of wholly unnecessary drama. If you think I overreacted to anything you can PM me or any other mod, report my post(s), etc.

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Gadrel

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Post Sunday, 7th December 2014, 22:41

Re: Proposed Additions to the Poison School

The idea with poison spells is to have stronger than normal spells in exchange for them becoming less useful later (this is what I usually hear) or in exchange for them working on a limited set of enemies (this seems to be the actual drawback instead of the former). I don't think poison spells really accomplish this goal because they're not really stronger than normal. There are probably more enemies that resist poison than any other school. Poison arrow is good but I don't see any reason to learn it when I could learn a school that works on all enemies, or at least many more enemies. The spell suggestions in this thread don't address this possible issue with the poison school design, but might as well bring it up here.

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Post Sunday, 7th December 2014, 22:58

Re: Proposed Additions to the Poison School

I really like poison arrow, actually, because it has longer range than other projectile spells (iron shot, lcs, etc.) and still does good damage against poison resistant enemies. That said, putting the skill points into poison to get parrow castable is wasteful unless you have a positive poison apt.

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Post Sunday, 7th December 2014, 23:01

Re: Proposed Additions to the Poison School

Gadrel wrote:I hope that this post will be sufficient so that and into doesn't get his panties in a wad.
Sorry to say this, but you've sort of lost it already here. (I am *very* grateful that and_into is doing what he does, and I think he's doing it very well, too.)

[By the way, as you can probably imagine, this is a topic that comes up every so often. You can increase the "seriousness appeal" of your posting by finding one or two of these previous threads and linking them, ideally also saying why your proposal is different/better than those.]

Why?: The poison school currently has no spells past level 6 and, excepting poison arrow, no spells that work on poison resistant enemies. As a result, poison is undesirable mid-late game and a bit of a waste of skill points.
Why should there be symmetry behind spell schools in the first place? You say that its usefulness is limited and it's true -- but that could be completely alright if the spells deliver enough early on. Now, we can argue whether or not that's the case right now, but the diminishing returns themselves are not a compelling reasons to make Poison like other schools by providing end-game tools.

You can look at it like this: I am very much in favour of diversity in Crawl, and all spell schools allowing you to tackle Zot --just with damage spells of different flavour-- is exactly the opposite of that.

For what it's worth, I really like to play VM: I think they're good early on, and of course I do now that I'll have to branch out soon enough. When and how that'll happen, my guide are dungeon drops etc.

Level 7: Summon Tainted Forest - Poison/Summoning/Translocation
Functions similarly to summon forest, except that the healthy trees of summon forest are replaced with dead or dying ones. The dryad is replaced with a tainted treant and the snaplasher vines with some sort of poison spewing plant creature.

Level 8: Poison Form - Poison/Transmutation
This spell is meant to function as an escape spell with some offensive bite. The caster turns into a swirling cloud of poison. As a result, the caster may not attack in melee or ranged and spell casting becomes much more difficult. In exchange, the caster radiates clouds of poison, receives a significant (75%?) reduction in incoming damage, and gains a 1 aut bonus to move speed.

Level 9: Miasma Storm - Poison/Conjuration
This spell is meant to function as an end game damage dealer. In order to be so it should be smite targeted and deal a portion of its damage as physical. Living creatures slain by it will rise as friendly zombies.
Of these, STF is designed as a parallel to an existing spell (generally not ideal, see above); PF looks interesting but is quite one-dimensional -- it is obviously made for fleeing; MS tries to be the poisonous brother of other storm spells (fun idea with the zombies, though it makes me wonder why is there no Necromancy).

Note that even if I or anyone else would think these are awesome spell concepts and should certainly go into the game, then three *major* roadblock lie ahead: (1) turn your morevague ideas into something with details and numbers (this is far from trivial), (2) code it, document it, test it, (3) finetuning in actual trunk play. This is why the GDD threshold is pretty steep.

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Post Monday, 8th December 2014, 03:36

Re: Proposed Additions to the Poison School

Gadrel wrote:Level 7: Summon Tainted Forest - Poison/Summoning/Translocation
Functions similarly to summon forest, except that the healthy trees of summon forest are replaced with dead or dying ones. The dryad is replaced with a tainted treant and the snaplasher vines with some sort of poison spewing plant creature.
You're proposing "summon forest but different" and saying literally nothing about how it's different aside from some meaningless flavour fluff. That is not really useful.

Gadrel wrote:Level 8: Poison Form - Poison/Transmutation
This spell is meant to function as an escape spell with some offensive bite. The caster turns into a swirling cloud of poison. As a result, the caster may not attack in melee or ranged and spell casting becomes much more difficult. In exchange, the caster radiates clouds of poison, receives a significant (75%?) reduction in incoming damage, and gains a 1 aut bonus to move speed.
Why would I ever use this offensively? I can get poison clouds from a spell 2 levels lower. I can kill anything without rPois++ with a spell 2 levels lower, in fact. It sounds to me like you are suggesting death's door lite with some meaningless fluff tacked on.

Gadrel wrote:Level 9: Miasma Storm - Poison/Conjuration
This spell is meant to function as an end game damage dealer. In order to be so it should be smite targeted and deal a portion of its damage as physical. Living creatures slain by it will rise as friendly zombies.
1. If you have a level 9 spell with 2 spell schools then living monsters no longer meaningfully exist in your game.
2. Even if you ignore that, how would this be meaningfully different from fire storm? "Partly-resistible smite-targeted storm that makes allies" is exactly what fire storm is. This is less different from fire storm than ice storm was, and given that a couple versions ago ice storm was made from a useless spell into an even more useless spell, I don't see much chance of miasma storm getting into the game.

Temple Termagant

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Post Monday, 8th December 2014, 05:13

Re: Proposed Additions to the Poison School

duvessa wrote:You're proposing "summon forest but different" and saying literally nothing about how it's different aside from some meaningless flavour fluff. That is not really useful.


You're criticizing the proposed spells and saying literally nothing constructive aside from some meaningless negative comments. That is not really useful. Instead, perhaps you could propose constructive changes or different ideas.

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Post Monday, 8th December 2014, 05:40

Re: Proposed Additions to the Poison School

Gadrel wrote:
duvessa wrote:You're proposing "summon forest but different" and saying literally nothing about how it's different aside from some meaningless flavour fluff. That is not really useful.


You're criticizing the proposed spells and saying literally nothing constructive aside from some meaningless negative comments. That is not really useful. Instead, perhaps you could propose constructive changes or different ideas.


The comment may have been harsh, but I feel the meaning was very clearly implied: you didn't justify the spell's existence from a gameplay point of view.

I see two main issues with your post, overall.

The first is your premise. Poison is a waste of experience because it falls off lategame. Many players disagree with this premise, as dpeg already showed. You seem to be thinking with the standard RPG mentality that applies to games like Diablo or World of Warcraft or whatever, where character building revolves largely around the end-game and any resources spent on improving your early game that could be spent improving your end-game are wasted. That's now true in DCSS, though. In fact, the early game is widely considered the hardest and most dangerous part of the game by skilled players. So training a skill that helps you survive the early and mid game is very much not a waste at all, even if it leaves you a bit later for the end-game than training something else. Unlike in most other RPGs, in Crawl, it doesn't matter how optimal your build is at the end of the game, because there's no such thing as raids or farming or whatever. It's like the game of thrones, you win or you die, and being better prepared for the early game increases your odds of winning instead of dying.

The second issue is your spell proposals. You didn't explain what these particular spells add to the game, aside from poison spells higher than level 6. Higher level poison spells have been proposed before, but as dpeg said and duvessa implies, being a high level poison spell doesn't inherently make a spell worth adding to the game. You have to explain why that particular spell will improve the game. Not just within the context of the poison school, but in the context of the game as a whole. Why does a more powerful summon forest that requires poison make the game better? What makes it an interesting spell when summon forest already exists? What unique role does it serve? With suggestions in general, but I've found particularly spell suggestions, you really want to explain why the spell is both interesting and different enough from spells that are already in the game to be worth adding.

The other option is to just code the spell yourself. Part of the reason you need a strong justification to add new things to the game is that it takes a lot of effort to add things to the game. If you put forth the effort, then you get two benefits: first, it doesn't take any effort for anyone else, it's just a question of whether it's a good idea, and second, people can try it out and see how it works instead of just discussing it in theory. But if you're not going to code your ideas yourself, and want to convince someone else to add them, then you have to make a very compelling case for how they add something unique, interesting, and useful to crawl, more compelling than "there aren't any poison spells above level 6, so here are some ideas."

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Post Monday, 8th December 2014, 05:41

Re: Proposed Additions to the Poison School

Gadrel wrote:
duvessa wrote:You're proposing "summon forest but different" and saying literally nothing about how it's different aside from some meaningless flavour fluff. That is not really useful.


You're criticizing the proposed spells and saying literally nothing constructive aside from some meaningless negative comments. That is not really useful. Instead, perhaps you could propose constructive changes or different ideas.


What does Summon Tainted Forest do differently from Summon Forest?

Sar

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Post Monday, 8th December 2014, 07:04

Re: Proposed Additions to the Poison School

The forest that it summons is tainted, duh. It's right there in the name, stupid!

(Also it apparently summons a treant instead of dryad, which is amusing considering the whole point of regular Summon Forest is that dryad makes vinesout of trees, which is an unique dryad ability.)

Edit: wait, no, the vines are replaced by some kinda poison oklobs. So I guess tainted treant can make poison oklobs?

Edit2: now I am not sure how is that supposed to be useful vs. enemies poison isn't useful against now.

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Post Monday, 8th December 2014, 07:21

Re: Proposed Additions to the Poison School

Damn, if you neckbeards spent half as much time thinking up spells to add to the poison school as you do flaming me we'd have this licked. Thanks for the multi-paragraph post about how different crawl is from WoW... I dunno what I'd do without that primer.

Why does this forum exist if every reply is just "Your idea sucks but idk go code it yourself?"

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Post Monday, 8th December 2014, 07:32

Re: Proposed Additions to the Poison School

Is something possibly wrong with your browser? (Perhaps you are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer or Firefox?) — Because itt I read several in-depth posts giving solid feedback on your proposal, along with some shorter and snarkier replies, but which nonetheless at least brought up some valid criticism (for instance, the thing you proposed to add to the game is extremely similar to things that already exist in Crawl).

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Post Monday, 8th December 2014, 07:36

Re: Proposed Additions to the Poison School

gadrel don`t listen to the people who have been posting here for years or any of the devs and especially the mods, your ideas are great and they will be ignored for about a month, two at tops, and your thread will go thankless for you but just wait a bit, launch trunk in january and you`ll see all your ideas in the game. you won`t get credit but you`ll know. everyone gangs up on the good idea around here but they all get in, see: all of my ideas
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Post Monday, 8th December 2014, 07:38

Re: Proposed Additions to the Poison School

and into wrote:Is something possibly wrong with your browser? (Perhaps you are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer or Firefox?) — Because itt I read several in-depth posts giving solid feedback on your proposal, along with some shorter and snarkier replies, but which nonetheless at least brought up some valid criticism (for instance, the thing you proposed to add to the game is extremely similar to things that already exist in Crawl).


Purely negative "feedback" is useless. It does not advance an idea or move a proposal forward. It points out flaws without proposing solutions or workarounds. If you think that the purely negative drivel in this thread is remotely productive then I have serious doubts about the utility of this forum.

I'm sorry I posted some ideas, ye olde crawl gods.

Sar

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Post Monday, 8th December 2014, 07:41

Re: Proposed Additions to the Poison School

Gadrel wrote:I have serious doubts about the utility of this forum

If it's any consolation, you figured it out relatively fast!

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Post Monday, 8th December 2014, 07:45

Re: Proposed Additions to the Poison School

Sar wrote:
Gadrel wrote:I have serious doubts about the utility of this forum

If it's any consolation, you figured it out relatively fast!


If it's any consolation you're kind of an ass.

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Post Monday, 8th December 2014, 08:32

Re: Proposed Additions to the Poison School

one dev told me once that not all ideas are meant to be forwarded with criticism or suggestions. he didn`t know what he was talking about. there are no bad ideas, there are only my ideas, and the devs and everyone else need to seriously consider them or else i might lose respect of this forum. when people post negative in my threads i get so mad because i really spelnd alot of time on videogame ideas. so i know what your`re going thgouhgh.
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Post Monday, 8th December 2014, 10:42

Re: Proposed Additions to the Poison School

Gadrel wrote:Damn, if you neckbeards spent half as much time thinking up spells to add to the poison school as you do flaming me we'd have this licked. Thanks for the multi-paragraph post about how different crawl is from WoW... I dunno what I'd do without that primer.

Why does this forum exist if every reply is just "Your idea sucks but idk go code it yourself?"


You complained that some of the short snarky replies you were given were purely negative with no constructive criticism. I wrote a lengthy reply giving what was meant to be constructive criticism by pointing out why I believed your proposal wasn't getting a very positive response and what you might be able to do if you thought people weren't giving your ideas enough credit and really wanted to see them make it into the game anyway. You responded with a snarky insult, and yet you're the one complaining about flaming and a lack of constructive criticism?

Sorry I tried to help, I guess. Apparently taking the time to write a detailed response after you complained about a lack of detail in others' responses just makes me a neckbeard with bad priorities. I'm sure your life is completely in order and your facial hair is immaculate.

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Post Monday, 8th December 2014, 13:31

Re: Proposed Additions to the Poison School

Gadrel wrote:Purely negative "feedback" is useless. It does not advance an idea or move a proposal forward. It points out flaws without proposing solutions or workarounds.


Not all ideas are worth being advanced or moved forward or having workarounds, though. I get that you're attached to your Poison spell suggestions and you don't want to see them languish in obscurity, but you seem to be the only one who's into them, and therefore the only one who thinks they're worth any effort trying to make usable. If you're going to get grouchy whenever you get a response that's not "sure thing, man, we'll code this up immediately!" you're probably not going to be happy posting in GDD.

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Post Monday, 8th December 2014, 14:06

Re: Proposed Additions to the Poison School

Gadrel, the idea that negative feedback is useless is deeply problematic and is going to lead you into trouble. For example, if I say, "Too many people have houses, let's get a steamroller and drive it through some houses!", the only appropriate feedback is that 1) the premise is at best unsupported if not obviously mistaken, and 2) the plan to remedy it is terrible for a wide variety of reasons. Negative feedback that's constructive is actually very helpful, and can help create good ideas just as effectively as positive feedback can.

If you're posting here only because you want positive feedback, I'm afraid you're in the wrong place, because the goal of this forum (which we sometimes achieve) is to have productive discussions about Crawl design. Even compelling ideas discussed here won't necessarily end up in Crawl, but if you start with the premise that people must praise and/or build on your idea, you're setting yourself up for disapppointment.

For example, if you had taken the time to read carefully the replies to your ideas, you would have found a lot of useful feedback that could help you come up with an improved proposal; instead you chose to take offense and lash out at anyone who failed to praise/grow your idea, and now you're upset, other posters think less of you, and your ideas haven't progressed at all.

I think you'll find that what I've said here applies to most successful collaborative projects, and is not uniquely applicable to Crawl.

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Post Monday, 8th December 2014, 15:30

Re: Proposed Additions to the Poison School

I think folks here have said all that needs to be said. I'm gonna lock this for the time being, but Gadrel: take a break. If you still feel tomorrow like you haven't gotten feedback here, re-read the messages in this thread, along with the "You must read this..." thread. Carefully. And if you still still feel like these ideas warrant further discussion, PM a mod.

Also: Even if you feel slighted by peoples' response to your ideas (I have posted some very bad ideas here and yeah, it harsh feedback feels personal sometimes), being belligerent in defending them is not OK.
I am not a very good player. My mouth is a foul pit of LIES. KNOW THIS.

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