Yet Another Duration-Based-Spell Reform Proposal


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Slime Squisher

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Post Wednesday, 18th February 2015, 20:16

Yet Another Duration-Based-Spell Reform Proposal

Ok, I've been thinking this out, and here's what I've got:

Duration-based spell have a variety of problems. Most of the duration-based spells are really powerful and you can have lots of them up simultaneously with minimal cost. Recasting that whole cornucopia is an annoying pain. Out-of-combat-casting in robes with rings of wiz and an enhancer staff and then switching to what you'd actually use to fight is a silly abuse.

Doing away the the duration aspect of these spells would eliminate much of the hassle and macro-making. This has been suggested many, many times but so far hasn't been balanced or consistent or abuse-resistant enough to implement.

Anyways,
  • Spellpower should govern the usefulness of the spell, with low power casts associated with some serious costs. Contamination could work, along with exponentially increasing hunger, or school specific DBS miscast-type effects. For example, low power Spider Form could have AUT-based chance to poison you and Darkness could make you Noisy or Slow or Confused.
  • Casting a DBS lowers maxMP by 3 to 4 times the spell level while the spell is on instead of costing rechargeable MP. (Repel Missiles uses 6 or 8 maxMP while it is up)
  • No cast failures. Casting a Duration-based Spell (DBS?) just turns it on, casting the same spell again turns it off, and casting yet another DBS with a limited manapool would ask you if you wanted to turn off another spell, like ring-swapping.
  • Spell Hunger is factored across what was the max duration as a rate. So if the spell cost 1000 food units for a given INT/Spellcast and could last at most 10 turns, then the spell would use 100 food/turn
  • For particularly powerful DBSs, a cooldown period might be useful to prevent abuse, treating those spells more like armor than jewelry.

Naturally, there would be a few exceptions to this overhaul: Swiftness and Death's Door come to mind since they are inherently Duration-based.


Examples of drawbacks for casting spells. Spell - Drawback at Low or no Spellpower. Note that "Chance" indicates a continuing chance for something to happen. Excruciating Wounds at low power could Torment you in the middle of the fight and while you were fleeing, and while you were resting, and as long as you left it up.
Spoiler: show
Charms
  • Repel Missiles - Chance to repel so low as to be useless
  • Shroud of Golubria - Ditto
  • Swiftness - Exception!
  • Sure Blade - Hmm, Not sure on this one (Why does this exist?)
  • Song of Slaying - Chance to give bonus on kill decreases, noise
  • Infusion - Has a spellpower based number of enhanced attacks which have a recharge rate based on spellpower
  • Flight - Spellpower threshold to actually fly, Chance to shock you
  • Regeneration - Rate of Regen based on Spellpower, chance of Draining
  • Ozocubu's Armor - AC based on spellpower (not 4 + spellpower)
  • Control Teleport - Contamination, Chance for Warping Space, Give you Temporary Teleportitis 1-3 after spell ends
  • Iskenderun's Battlesphere - It gets confused and targets you
  • Excruciating Wounds - Chance for Torment
  • Warp Weapon - Chance for Distortion against you (except Abyss) or just Chance for Space Warps Around You, Chance for Malign Gateway or other Abyss baddies Summoned
  • Deflect Missiles - Direct Missiles (accuracy bonus against you), increasing through nothing changing, up to actually Deflecting Missiles
  • Haste - Spellpower gives a range of Slow up through Haste, Contam (Why is this a spell?)
  • Ring of Flames - Chance of Fireballs, rF- up to threshold, rF neutral up to threshold, very low chance to spawn a Flame Cloud
  • Death's Door - Exception!

Transmutations
  • Beastly Appendage
  • Stoneskin
  • Sticks to Snakes
  • Spider Form - Chance to be Poisoned
  • Ice Form - Chance to be Slowed, Chance to Freeze you, Chance to Sleep you, Chance for Temporary Malmutations that don't start counting down or going away until Ice Form is off.
  • Blade Hands - Chance for self-damage (You cut yourself to ribbons!), Chance for Temporary Malmutation, Negative Wiz increases as spell power decreases (negative Wiz from BH doesn't apply to itself, unless you like the worm ourobouros)
  • Statue Form - Range of AC malus to AC Bonus (You feel brittle), Inacc, Chance for Temporary Malmutation
  • Dragon Form - Hmm, I dunno (Range of Forms from Newt to actual Dragon?)
  • Hydra Form - Ditto
  • Necromutation Resists require spellpower threshold, Rotting, Deteriorating, Draining

Hexes
  • Confusing Touch - Has a spellpower based number of enhanced attacks which have a recharge rate based on spellpower
  • Invisibility - Chance to flicker into view, Contamination, Noise
  • Darkness - Slow, Confusion, Noise, Marked
  • The rest are listed in Charms

Others
  • Phase Shift - EV gained based on Spellpower, up to 8,Chance for Distortion against you (except Abyss) or just Chance for Space Warps Around You), Chance to Summon Abyssal nasties
  • Disjunction - Has a spellpower based number of blinks which have a recharge rate based on spellpower, Chance for Distortion against you (except Abyss) or just Chance for Space Warps Around You, Chance to Summon Abyssal nasties, Chance to Blink nasties toward you

  • Condensation Shield - Chance to Block with spellpower, Chance to Slow, Chance to Freeze you, Chance to Sleep you

  • Olgrebs Toxic Radiance (Does this Count as a DBS?)

  • Tornado (Does this even count?)


#ilovelists(apparently[and parenthetical remarks!])

(PS - I used LearnDB List of Spells for my spells. I'm sure there are some left out or that I forgot or whatever)
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Wednesday, 18th February 2015, 20:46

Re: Yet Another Duration-Based-Spell Reform Proposal

Basically this exact thing has been suggested, probably several times, in the past. I'm too lazy to go find the suggestions.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Wednesday, 18th February 2015, 20:57

Re: Yet Another Duration-Based-Spell Reform Proposal

Your spell hunger proposal, if implemented, would just preserve the status quo except that you would manually disable buffs after every fight instead of them expiring automatically. Why do you want to preserve spell hunger at all? It makes no sense for non-combat spells, it's a purely tactical cost.
Sure blade and haste have as much reason to exist as any other consistently beneficial buff spell (rmsl, shroud, infusion, regen, ozo's armour, brands, etc.).

I do like the idea of changing most buff spells to "sustains" - or rather, I like it better than the idea of leaving them as they are - but the problem is what to do with spell success. I'm just going to pretend you said "spell success" every time you said "spellpower" because that's what is actually relevant here due to the fact that spell success bonuses and penalties exist. Your suggestion is to add a completely different extra effect to almost every buff spell in the game, which is disgustingly complicated and horrible for clarity and also for everything else. Instead you need a consistent way to scale either the effect of sustains (impossible unless you change/remove lots of spells) or the drawbacks (more possible).

As a starting point, I would suggest this:
- Casting a buff spell turns it on if it's off, or off if it's on. Takes the normal amount of time but has no failure or hunger cost.
- Active buff spells reduce your max MP by (1 - [success rate]) * (max MP with no buffs). The specifics of interaction with +MP items, antimagic, etc. are too small of details to care about at this point.
- You cannot activate a buff if it would reduce your MP to 0 or below. Whether this should be exactly 0 (allow 99.9% fail spells), or just something that would round to 0 (don't allow 99.9% fail spells) is another small detail. If your currently active buffs would reduce your MP to 0 or below (such as by fail rates changing), they are immediately deactivated beginning with the highest fail rate.
- Swiftness, Haste, Death's Door, Confusing Touch, Invisibility, and Olgreb's cannot possibly be usefully incorporated into this or any similar system unless you remove their drawbacks.

The main problem with a system like this is that for some characters (ones that don't otherwise care about MP) it still allows essentially penalty-free use of one buff with a very high fail rate. Any cutoff that you introduce to combat this will be even more arbitrary than the 100% fail cutoff, very weird, and produce the same problem anyway.

Also what the hell is it with people wanting to add more disadvantages to flight? Christ, it's just the "get over water/lava" spell, it doesn't need to rot you or mutate you or kill you just because players might use it when they're not actively getting over water/lava which is apparently horrible for some unexplained reason.

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Slime Squisher

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Post Friday, 20th February 2015, 17:56

Re: Yet Another Duration-Based-Spell Reform Proposal

You're right, I hadn't thought of the purely tactical nature of spell hunger. Also, I have hated Haste and Sure Blade since ever, and until you posted your Simplify Crawl thing, I had never really known why. They had just seemed cheap and out of place somehow.

I also agree that my list of various drawbacks is way to complicated. However, I still think that finding a good drawback and cutoff that prevents "essentially penalty-free use of one buff" and that retains clarity is possible.

Would Stat Rot do the trick? Both an initial Stat Rot and a continuing effect, with severity dependent on failrate?
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Friday, 20th February 2015, 18:03

Re: Yet Another Duration-Based-Spell Reform Proposal

dolphin wrote:Would Stat Rot do the trick? Both an initial Stat Rot and a continuing effect, with severity dependent on failrate?
If you allow players to use sustained buffs, but actively punish them for leaving buffs on outside of combat, then you are not changing the status quo at all. Players will just enable the buffs before combat and disable them afterwards, giving the current behaviour. You need a drawback that only matters in combat, such as a constant reduction in max HP/MP.

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Slime Squisher

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Post Friday, 20th February 2015, 18:20

Re: Yet Another Duration-Based-Spell Reform Proposal

I guess I was thinking of the Stat Rot in a specific fashion, but I didn't use my words again. Ah, well. Anyways, what was in my head was a larger than usual stat rot, like 5-10 for each stat, something that would interfere with combat, followed by a rapid ongoing Stat Rot, of 1 of each per turn or so . Wouldn't -10 of all stats with a rate of -1 per turn keep players from abusing that one high fail rate spell?

I do like maxHP/MP drain as well, though.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Friday, 20th February 2015, 18:24

Re: Yet Another Duration-Based-Spell Reform Proposal

Ongoing statrot, or any other penalty that increases the longer you leave the buff on, would mean that you would not sustain the spell. You would turn it off as soon as you no longer need it. It would be like the current situation except you have to manually "expire" the buff instead of it doing so automatically.

bel

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Post Friday, 20th February 2015, 18:37

Re: Yet Another Duration-Based-Spell Reform Proposal

I like the reduction in max MP idea.
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Slime Squisher

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Post Friday, 20th February 2015, 18:55

Re: Yet Another Duration-Based-Spell Reform Proposal

I get the point about long-term ongoing effects, but that doesn't mean that a rapid ongoing effect would be non-tactical. In this case, if Stat Rot is used, do you really want set up a situation for instantaneous Stat-Death (which technically gives you some turns to quaff restore abilities)? The ongoing effect is there just to prevent what I would see as a totally frustrating Nethackian death.
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Temple Termagant

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Post Friday, 20th February 2015, 19:04

Re: Yet Another Duration-Based-Spell Reform Proposal

bel wrote:I like the reduction in max MP idea.


This or not recovering the cost in MP of the spell.

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Post Wednesday, 25th February 2015, 11:03

Re: Yet Another Duration-Based-Spell Reform Proposal

I've had this idea: status spells are permament, and every time duration expires, the game recasts them 'silently', in the background, without using mp.
If recasting fails, you suffer the normal mp loss and miscast effects.
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Post Wednesday, 25th February 2015, 11:27

Re: Yet Another Duration-Based-Spell Reform Proposal

kuniqs wrote:I've had this idea: status spells are permament, and every time duration expires, the game recasts them 'silently', in the background, without using mp.
If recasting fails, you suffer the normal mp loss and miscast effects.


Great suggestion, I think this is simple enough to actually be implemented. Of course this would require a way to manually end buffs -- for example if the player starts wearing heavy armour, ending buffs manually is better than suffering the miscasts when the spell fails. Recasting the spell while it's active could display a "Spell X is already active, do you want to end its effects (Y/N)?" prompt and either dispel the spell (Y) or manually renew it (N) -- the latter can be useful when for example the spellpower changes.

Crypt Cleanser

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Post Wednesday, 25th February 2015, 14:06

Re: Yet Another Duration-Based-Spell Reform Proposal

Forgot to say what happens when you don't have enough mp.
If you don't have enough mp to cast this spell, the silent recasting fails without miscast effects, and spell enters the 'expiring' phase.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Wednesday, 25th February 2015, 19:04

Re: Yet Another Duration-Based-Spell Reform Proposal

If it doesn't require mana to refresh itself, it seems odd that it would not refresh itself because you don't have the mana to pay the starting cost. I suppose it would make ghost moths more interesting, but it does seem odd you could have not enough mana to cast a spell that costs 0 mana.

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Post Wednesday, 25th February 2015, 21:31

Re: Yet Another Duration-Based-Spell Reform Proposal

The 0 cost is more for convenience (you don't get prompted many times during autoexplore/combat when those spells recast themselves, you don't have to wait for mp to refill before going down stairs etc.) than logic.

Now for other question - should the background 'extending' slow you down when it kicks in, or not? I think not.
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