Let Enchanters choose their starting weapon.


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Slime Squisher

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Post Tuesday, 24th February 2015, 16:14

Let Enchanters choose their starting weapon.

So I have been thinking about Enchanters, and I honestly believe that their starting spellbook is a lot more flexible than what the background description seems to imply. I think it would be fine to allow this background to start with other weapons to reflect this.

They do indeed excel at sneaky stabbing, but their book has uses beyond that, which can benefit less sneaky and less stabby characters.

Confuse is capable of disabling many of the biggest casting and ranged threats in the early to mid game for prolonged periods of time. Its usefulness is not limited to setting up stabs. Enslavement is similarly useful to many characters.

Dazzling Spray is also versatile as a damaging ranged option for characters which are mainly melee.

Ensorcelled Hibernation is probably the spell that would shine less for non-stabby characters, but still has utility to block hallways for instance.

And then there is Corona and Sure Blade.
That is two accuracy enhancing spells for a background that starts with the most accurate weapon family in the game. Corona doesn't even have good sinergy with SBl since it alerts monsters. It is something you use to get from XL1 to XL2 and then forget once you find a source of SInv.
Does this make them irrelevant? No, especially early on. But pretty much any other weapon class would benefit more from them, Sure Blade is a Short Blade exclusive spell which would be more relevant on any other weapon class. An axe user, for example, would greatly benefit from these when trying to kill things with some EV.

To sum it up, I would propose making Sure Blade castable on any weapon (maybe renaming it), moving some starting XP for enchanters from Stealth to weapon skill (many races have insane stealth apt anyway - or maybe revert this if the player picks SBl) and give the player the usual selection of weapons.

Would make Enchanter both a kind of Hex based counterpart to Skald and the usual sneak and stab background it is right now
Last edited by Pereza0 on Tuesday, 24th February 2015, 18:27, edited 2 times in total.

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dolphin, Greyr

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 24th February 2015, 16:28

Re: Let Enchanters choose their starting weapon.

While I am not opposed to the idea of selecting a weapon, corona has great synergy with SBl and stabbing (stealth). When you are afraid of stabbing a pack, you use Corona and the monster moves to you without shouting. Sure Blade is good for confusion stabs also and I believe it can be OP with high base damage weapons which are balanced by accuracy penalty early in the game. Adders will be too easy to kill, for example.
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Slime Squisher

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Post Tuesday, 24th February 2015, 16:35

Re: Let Enchanters choose their starting weapon.

The thing about the shouting is not true anymore with one of the recent changes. Monsters now shout even if you alert them with stones and stuff (I assume this extends to corona, if it doesnt it should EDIT: IT EXTENDS TO CORONA I CHECKED). And even if this wasnt the case a wand of magic darts would accomplish the same thing with no mana or spell slot consumption.

And the bit about Sure Blade being OP, yeah, it could be true but it could be balanced accordingly. And its not like having early axe users being able to hit adders at all will break the game anyway.
Last edited by Pereza0 on Wednesday, 25th February 2015, 00:06, edited 1 time in total.

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Slime Squisher

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Post Tuesday, 24th February 2015, 17:46

Re: Let Enchanters choose their starting weapon.

So, I have realized this would actually be close to trivial implement, even for someone with basically zero coding experience like me.

Looking at the source it would also be easy to make weapon types other than Short Blades get different, maybe lower, bonuses to to-hit in case it is necessary. Probably weighing weapon mass in the calculation for weapons other than short blades would be interesting

I will see if I manage to figure it how to make a git branch, that will probably be more troublesome

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Wednesday, 25th February 2015, 01:45

Re: Let Enchanters choose their starting weapon.

The class you are looking for is "arcane marksman", pretty much.

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duvessa, Sar
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Slime Squisher

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Post Wednesday, 25th February 2015, 02:36

Re: Let Enchanters choose their starting weapon.

crate wrote:The class you are looking for is "arcane marksman", pretty much.


And this is fine, except that looking at the descriptions for Enchanters and Arcane Marksmen, it's pretty counter-intuitive that AM = choose your own melee weapon. And this doesn't feel like the same sort of counter-intuitive as a SpBe, where you could feel cool for figuring out a neat combo in the absence of information (or just following MageyKun). Instead, the information the game supplies would misdirect you (melee Hexers go En, ranged Hexers go AM).


0.15
From the tooltips
AM - Arcane Marksmen carry ranged weapons, and use magic to make their foes more vulnerable from afar.
En - Enchanters use spells from the book of Maledictions to incapacitate foes, and are equipped with an enchanted dagger


From the Game Manual

Hunters
The Hunter is a type of fighter who specialises in missile weapons. A
Hunter starts with either some throwing weapons or a ranged weapon and
some ammunition, as well as a short sword or club and a set of leathers.

Arcane Marksmen
Arcane Marksmen are Hunters who use debilitating spells to assist their
ranged attacks. They are particularly good at keeping their enemies at a
distance.

Enchanters
The Enchanter specialises in the subtle art of hexes. Instead of directly
damaging foes, hexes disable and debilitate them, allowing the Enchanter
to finish the helpless creatures in combat. The Enchanter begins with
lightly enchanted weapons and armour, as well as the Corona spell and
some darts, which should help them out until they can use the higher
level hexes.
Human kind cannot bear very much reality.
TSE
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Slime Squisher

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Post Wednesday, 25th February 2015, 09:41

Re: Let Enchanters choose their starting weapon.

crate wrote:The class you are looking for is "arcane marksman", pretty much.

I think the book of Maledictions has way better synergy with melee combat. Debilitation is more about avoiding/disengaging in melee than about actually aiding it.

Innet Flame is suicidal in melee, Leda's Liquefaction useless, Slow is ok but not as great as Confuse, Cause Fear will cause things to run from you meaning you wont be able to hit them unless you have ranged weaponry (though it is still a decent panic button). The two spells with better synergy (Corona, Enslavement) are also in Maledictions

Blades Runner

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Post Wednesday, 25th February 2015, 19:35

Re: Let Enchanters choose their starting weapon.

Enchanters only start with 1.0 Short Blades. Pick up a whip on D:2 if you want.

Players do that with Assassin all the time.
Wins: DsWz(6), DDNe(4), HuIE(5), HuFE(4), MiBe(3)

Barkeep

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Post Wednesday, 25th February 2015, 20:29

Re: Let Enchanters choose their starting weapon.

I think it would be more "misleading" to encourage players to start with anything other than the weapon type that lets you turn the most important hexes in the starting book into insta-kills. Higher stealth also has a special synergy with short blades that is lost on, say, axes. Giving enchanter choice of weapon is basically as bad as giving transmuters choice of weapon. It makes no sense, and anyone who wants to play a M&F-only "enchanter" or a staff-using "transmuter" as some kind of challenge and/or role-playing thing, literally just has to pick up the first appropriate weapon he or she sees.

On a more positive note, the erroneous description in the game manual (darts) should be changed, obviously. Good catch, there.

The tooltip descriptions are accurate and short, as they are meant to be.

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duvessa, nago, Sar
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Slime Squisher

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Post Wednesday, 25th February 2015, 21:46

Re: Let Enchanters choose their starting weapon.

Igxfl wrote:Enchanters only start with 1.0 Short Blades. Pick up a whip on D:2 if you want.

Players do that with Assassin all the time.


and into wrote:I think it would be more "misleading" to encourage players to start with anything other than the weapon type that lets you turn the most important hexes in the starting book into insta-kills. Higher stealth also has a special synergy with short blades that is lost on, say, axes. Giving enchanter choice of weapon is basically as bad as giving transmuters choice of weapon. It makes no sense, and anyone who wants to play a M&F-only "enchanter" or a staff-using "transmuter" as some kind of challenge and/or role-playing thing, literally just has to pick up the first appropriate weapon he or she sees.

On a more positive note, the erroneous description in the game manual (darts) should be changed, obviously. Good catch, there.

The tooltip descriptions are accurate and short, as they are meant to be.


Yeah, well I guess its fine as it stands.

Stealth indeed has good synergy with Short Blades, nobody said axes did. But nobody said you need Stealth for the book of Maledictions to be good either - the only spell that needs stealth to shine there is Ensorcelled Hibernation (and Sure Blade since it is short blade exclusive), every other spell in the book works fine even without the stabbing and the higher base damage of other weapons kind of makes up for it. Its not a roleplaying or a challenge thing, stealth is not dependable and by doing this you don't have to rely on it or on disabling your enemies to do good damage.

Barkeep

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Post Wednesday, 25th February 2015, 22:12

Re: Let Enchanters choose their starting weapon.

Beastly appendage and sticks to snakes also work well with weapons other than your fists. You can even argue spider form (big EV, poison) and ice form (resistance, slowing cold-blooded monsters) are very occasionally useful, with just your starting UC, even if you mainly use a different weapon. This doesn't mean that transmuters should get a weapon choice, though, because the starting package is so obviously and clearly geared toward UC that it is strictly a challenge conduct to start as transmuter and pick up a mace and use that as your main weapon. The challenge conduct is made ever-so-slightly more challenging by not starting you off with a mace.

Ditto with enchanter and short blades. The degree to which hibernation, confusion, and dazzling spray are improved by stabbing is roughly comparable (not the same, but comparable) to how much spider form and ice form are improved by UC. Stealth is one of the major factors in your chance to land stabs and your bonus to stabbing damage, and also helps you get some "didn't-wake-monster-up" stabs. No you don't "need" it, but if you use that as your metric, then the whole concept of backgrounds in Crawl kind of falls apart.

Just pick up a different weapon with AM or En. The degree to which you hurt your chances for winning by forgoing the bonus stab damage of short blades is staggeringly large next to the single level of starting skill that you lose by not having the "choice" to start with a hand ax. I mean really, when you are at the point that you are denying that stabbing capability makes the spell dazzling spray significantly more powerful, your argument is just bad. It sometimes makes sense to pick up some s. blade skill and stealth on conjurors because the synergy is so strong, assuming you don't skip the spell entirely because you dislike the (admittedly) funky targeting, or whatever.

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