Unique proposal: Myrmecia, Champion of Formicids


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Mines Malingerer

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Post Tuesday, 17th March 2015, 14:08

Unique proposal: Myrmecia, Champion of Formicids

A formicid warrior. He has been sent to get the Orb for the formicid king.

Pyriformis is, as the title suggests, a unique formicid. He is somewhat tougher than Wiglaf.

My reasoning for this unique is as follows. I think that most or all playable races should have a unique monster to represent them. While formicids did not work as an ordinary monsters, a unique one would be interesting.

I have completely coded this unique, and will probably put a patch out on mantis once I get some feedback/suggestions.

Pyriformis has 16 HD, 160 HP, and gives about 1900 XP.
He burrows, and sees invisible.
He has 60 MR.
He hits for 34 damage, not including his weapon.
He has 3 AC and 10 EV before armour calculations.
He casts swiftness.
He uses chain or plate armour, a large shield, and a triple sword, exe axe, or bardiche.
He appears on D15, or anywhere in Spider or Snake.

His name comes from the scientific name of the bulldog ant, Myrmecia Pyriformis, which holds the guinness world record for most dangerous ant.
Last edited by Grudge on Wednesday, 8th April 2015, 12:19, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Tuesday, 17th March 2015, 14:17

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

+1 for taking the time to code it.

I'd like a bullet ant motif for this. Like, a sort of non-damaging constriction, maybe?
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Post Tuesday, 17th March 2015, 14:26

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

Can it use shafting as panic button?

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Post Tuesday, 17th March 2015, 14:59

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

Sounds pretty vanilla, and I don't think we need any more vanilla uniques. If you feel strongly about adding a formicid unique, try to come up with some way to make it interestingly different to fight.

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Post Tuesday, 17th March 2015, 15:03

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

Lasty wrote:Sounds pretty vanilla, and I don't think we need any more vanilla uniques. If you feel strongly about adding a formicid unique, try to come up with some way to make it interestingly different to fight.



Maybe let it have a passive ability which makes player unable to use haste/teleport/swiftness/blink when the unique is in LoS? Also it should come with a band of fast monsters like Ugly Things to take advantage of that otherwise the player just moves to stairs and tries to kill the unique there.

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Post Tuesday, 17th March 2015, 15:51

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

Sandman25 wrote:Maybe let it have a passive ability which makes player unable to use haste/teleport/swiftness/blink when the unique is in LoS?


LOS statis field sounds pretty nasty, but fun.
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Post Tuesday, 17th March 2015, 16:27

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

Sandman25 wrote: Maybe let it have a passive ability which makes player unable to use haste/teleport/swiftness/blink when the unique is in LoS? Also it should come with a band of fast monsters like Ugly Things to take advantage of that otherwise the player just moves to stairs and tries to kill the unique there.


That sounds like a good idea. I will give Pyriformis an effect similar to that of a torpor snail, but instead of slowing, it will inflict stasis.

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Post Tuesday, 17th March 2015, 17:05

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

Lasty wrote:Sounds pretty vanilla, and I don't think we need any more vanilla uniques.


How about we remove some of the existing vanilla uniques.

I like the idea that every race and god should be represented by at least one unique.
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Post Tuesday, 17th March 2015, 21:48

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

Rast wrote:I like the idea that every race and god should be represented by at least one unique.
A fedhas unique might actually be very different. Need a unique spell for it though...if not multiple. Something to cause tor, but not instantly kill player undead. Non-permanent Oklob creation, etc.
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Post Tuesday, 17th March 2015, 21:49

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

Rast wrote:
Lasty wrote:Sounds pretty vanilla, and I don't think we need any more vanilla uniques.


How about we remove some of the existing vanilla uniques.
Sure. But why would you add new ones? Useless things should be removed, they shouldn't be replaced with new useless things.

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Post Wednesday, 18th March 2015, 00:37

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

Flavor text should be: A formidable formicid warrior. He has been sent to get the Orb for the formicid king.

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Post Wednesday, 18th March 2015, 07:08

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

I love the stasis field idea. Another idea: When you enter the level, he detects you with his oversized antennae and immediately digs straight towards you like a super boring beetle.
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Post Wednesday, 18th March 2015, 13:02

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

Do Fo still have walk into wall dig?
I think a unique which has only this is enough, no stasis field or other gimmick.

It's a variance in how a monster can move towards you and makes surroundings more interactive with the fight. Give her some spells to stop her becoming boring beetle+, maybe Vm flavour.

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Post Wednesday, 18th March 2015, 13:57

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

1010011010 wrote:Do Fo still have walk into wall dig?
I think a unique which has only this is enough, no stasis field or other gimmick.

It's a variance in how a monster can move towards you and makes surroundings more interactive with the fight. Give her some spells to stop her becoming boring beetle+, maybe Vm flavour.



Digging should come with new Deep Troll Earth Mage unique IMHO, there is no need to merge Fo and VM into a single unique, we already have Arachne, Aizul and Nessos to some extent.

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Post Wednesday, 18th March 2015, 15:53

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

Well, depending on how it is implemented, "can sense you through walls" and "can dig" is reasonably interesting. If he could addionally try to get next to you by digging (trying to avoid range) that would be fairly nasty for a beefy melee attacker.

Wiglaf I see and kill at range of possible, this guy, maybe he doesn't give me that option.
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Post Wednesday, 18th March 2015, 17:58

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

Siegurt wrote:Well, depending on how it is implemented, "can sense you through walls" and "can dig" is reasonably interesting. If he could addionally try to get next to you by digging (trying to avoid range) that would be fairly nasty for a beefy melee attacker.

Wiglaf I see and kill at range of possible, this guy, maybe he doesn't give me that option.
You realize you're describing a boring beetle?
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Post Wednesday, 18th March 2015, 19:04

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

bcadren wrote:
Siegurt wrote:Well, depending on how it is implemented, "can sense you through walls" and "can dig" is reasonably interesting. If he could addionally try to get next to you by digging (trying to avoid range) that would be fairly nasty for a beefy melee attacker.

Wiglaf I see and kill at range of possible, this guy, maybe he doesn't give me that option.
You realize you're describing a boring beetle?


I don't believe Boring beetles either sense your position or attempt to position themselves out of LoF of ranged attacks while still approaching melee range, also they're slow and probably wouldn't be defined as 'beefy melee attackers' by any stretch.

But yes, there's some similarities.
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Post Wednesday, 18th March 2015, 19:43

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

It's also not very common to encounter boring beetles early enough that they pose any sort of threat. A melee enemy that is actually threatening and actively uses digging to both avoid LOS and chase you through walls sounds pretty scary and different to me.

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Post Wednesday, 18th March 2015, 19:52

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

I thought about a band of Boulder Beetles to come with the unique. It should be fun if you happen to meet them in a corridor: no tele/blink/haste and some Beetles are rolling at you. Time for wands of digging/disintegration I guess. There is a similar vault, I was really impressed when met it for the first time.
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Post Wednesday, 18th March 2015, 23:10

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

Siegurt wrote:Well, depending on how it is implemented, "can sense you through walls" and "can dig" is reasonably interesting. If he could addionally try to get next to you by digging (trying to avoid range) that would be fairly nasty for a beefy melee attacker.

Wiglaf I see and kill at range of possible, this guy, maybe he doesn't give me that option.


I like the suggestion, but I am not sure if I will be able to do code for it.
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Post Thursday, 19th March 2015, 02:04

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

Grudge wrote:
Siegurt wrote:Well, depending on how it is implemented, "can sense you through walls" and "can dig" is reasonably interesting. If he could addionally try to get next to you by digging (trying to avoid range) that would be fairly nasty for a beefy melee attacker.

Wiglaf I see and kill at range of possible, this guy, maybe he doesn't give me that option.


I like the suggestion, but I am not sure if I will be able to do code for it.
From a Pure AI perspective it's not that hard to understand. I could explain it a bit...but I don't know how Crawl keeps it's pathing data anywhere near well enough to code it, myself. You'd basically have to understand rock tiles and normal tiles as two different types of LoS (can walk through the Rock, but the foe can't see you; can walk through normal tiles and the foe can see you; can't walk through stone, metal, etc.) and do layered pathing to try to follow the path with foe seeing you the least. [Foe = Player; You = AI].

Reason I said it was like a boring beetle though was it'd still just be a more dangerous one, especially since it can't REALLY avoid being at range from the player. Might manage to truly sneak up on them with a combo of digging and passwall though. Combine that with a stasis field effect and the player couldn't blink away or boost with haste...that might work; but it might be an unavoidable death for some characters by removing their only means of getting away and popping up at melee range...which isn't acceptable.Be easy to be interesting; boring or...brokenly powerful depending on the combination of stuff you use. IDK.
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Post Thursday, 19th March 2015, 12:32

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

Okay. I will keep the stats the same, but I will give it a stasis field and let it sense you through walls. It will spawn with quite a few insects of various types.
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Post Thursday, 19th March 2015, 13:15

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

... Or at least I'll try.

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Post Thursday, 19th March 2015, 15:13

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

Stasis field is *really* nasty, stasis shuts down pretty much all emergency escape options one has, other than self-banishment via unwielding a distortion weapon.

If that's the intention, that's fine, but I feel that, generally speaking, unique's should be opportunities for interesting decision making about the best way to handle an unusual and dangerous fight, including not fighting it, rather than an outright death trap if you aren't powerful enough.

Obviously if you encounter a stasis generating unique at range you can opt not to engage and retreat to the nearest staircase, but a digging, you-sensing one, is more likely to appear at melee range with no ranged sightings, and even if you do, maintaining range on such a creature would be tough since they can always take the shortest path to get to you.

Not to say that a stasis field generating creature can't exist reasonably, but it'd be hard to create one that doesn't simply amount to "you need to be this tall to not die at this point in the game"

I would probably implement stasis field as a LOS-degrading thing (Like silence) so that there's at least a sometimes-possible escape method for players who get jumped at melee range and aren't powerful enough to beat him toe-to-toe.
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Post Thursday, 19th March 2015, 15:27

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

I agree, it should be either LoS-stasis OR Dig+sense, not both. To deal with stasis you can use scrolls of fear/summoning, potions of brilliance/agility/might, vulnerability+hexes, invocations etc.

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Post Thursday, 19th March 2015, 15:34

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

Sandman25 wrote:I agree, it should be either LoS-stasis OR Dig+sense, not both. To deal with stasis you can use scrolls of fear/summoning, potions of brilliance/agility/might, vulnerability+hexes, invocations etc.

Summoning probably wouldn't work well against a digging opponent (They can just dig around your summons), the rest might (depending on many factors)
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Post Thursday, 19th March 2015, 15:39

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

Siegurt wrote:Summoning probably wouldn't work well against a digging opponent (They can just dig around your summons), the rest might (depending on many factors)


Interesting. Does normal monster move around summons? I am not sure but I have impression that in this situation monster starts fighting my summons instead of walking around them:

  Code:
...
.S.
@SM
.S.
...

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Post Thursday, 19th March 2015, 15:47

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

Sandman25 wrote:
Siegurt wrote:Summoning probably wouldn't work well against a digging opponent (They can just dig around your summons), the rest might (depending on many factors)


Interesting. Does normal monster move around summons? I am not sure but I have impression that in this situation monster starts fighting my summons instead of walking around them:

  Code:
...
.S.
@SM
.S.
...

Yes, but in that circumstance you wouldn't need summons at all against a melee-only creature, you could simply walk away (You already have a gap, and you're the same speed), the circumstance in which you would need or want summons is one where you're already in melee range and want to use swapping with allies to create a gap:
  Code:
###
 @M
###

  Code:
###
S@M
###

  Code:
###
@SM
###

What's more likely to happen for a digger is:
  Code:
##M#
 @
####

  Code:
##M#
S@SS
####

  Code:
#MS#
@SS
####

(i.e. the monster just stays adjacent to you, swapping with allies really doesn't help.)
You might potentially get into a situation in the open where you have enough allies that you can block all three adjacent squares with allies, but that's pretty luck-dependant (Summons get positioned randomly when you read the scroll, and make a beeline for the monster which may or may not provide you with the requisite blocking, and summon scrolls are rare enough that you aren't likely to have a stack of them by the depth the OP was talking about placing them)
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Post Thursday, 19th March 2015, 15:53

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

I didn't know digging is instant for monster Fo.
Can the above problem be fixed by making digging + movement take 2 turns instead of 1?

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Post Thursday, 19th March 2015, 16:00

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

Well, I'm just going off what boring beetles do (Digging is their normal speed, which happens to be slow) that might just be the easy/lazy implementation, or there might be serious technical hurdles.

However I know monsters have different speeds in for example water terrain (e.x. hydra, alligators), so it's not unlikely that it's reasonable to implement a "digging speed" for monsters, although it might get weird (Since you have to change the terrain type to floor at some point)

It's been a while since I fought any Fo monsters (They weren't around for that long) but IIRC they moved at normal speed while digging.
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Post Thursday, 19th March 2015, 20:49

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

How about no sensing the player through walls and a silence-like stasis spell.

Also, Pyriformis digs at speed 10.

Summon interactions
If you are in a corridor like this
  Code:
####
.S@M
####

Pyriformis will fight your summon

If you are at a corner like this
  Code:
###
#.@
#S#
#M#
#.#

Pyriformis will dig through the wall below the player

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Post Friday, 20th March 2015, 03:42

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

Siegurt wrote:It's been a while since I fought any Fo monsters (They weren't around for that long) but IIRC they moved at normal speed while digging.



Ooooh yeah, what happened to them? Seemed like a decent, flavorful monster.
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Post Friday, 20th March 2015, 14:27

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

Grudge wrote:silence-like stasis spell.

I keep saying that this would make a good player spell, but nooo, everybody says that stasis is bad and pointless and not worth inflicting on yourself ever and that the amulet is as bad as or worse than inacc. I say if silence has a niche (which it does), this spell does too.

Situationally useful spells are still useful spells.

/ot

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Post Friday, 20th March 2015, 15:54

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

mechanicalmaniac wrote:
Grudge wrote:silence-like stasis spell.

I keep saying that this would make a good player spell, but nooo, everybody says that stasis is bad and pointless and not worth inflicting on yourself ever and that the amulet is as bad as or worse than inacc. I say if silence has a niche (which it does), this spell does too.

Situationally useful spells are still useful spells.

/ot

Note that the poster you quoted was suggesting a monster spell, not a player spell, it's almost never useful to "stasis" a monster, very few of them do things that it'd be productive to inflict stasis on, whereas there's plenty of spellcaster monsters to silence.

The player on the other hand hand often has quite a number of things they can do which stasis prevents, stasis *does* prevent some bad effects too (which is why it's occasionally *situationally useful* for the player) but there's a larger number of good things the player can do, than bad things that a monster can do to the player which are prevented by stasis, which is why, on average, un-desired stasis is negative. (It's certainly not worse than inacc, I'd occasionally wear a stasis amulet on purpose, I guess if I had to choose one to remain cursed to me, I'd choose inacc, because the bonuses and escape possibilities available with no stasis are larger than the penalties imposed by inacc, but given two uncursed amulets, I'd always just drop the inacc one)
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Post Friday, 20th March 2015, 19:09

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

A monster that is hard to escape/fast and digs to get at you makes me think of the Lernaean hydra.
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Post Friday, 20th March 2015, 20:37

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

Siegurt wrote:
mechanicalmaniac wrote:
Grudge wrote:silence-like stasis spell.

I keep saying that this would make a good player spell, but nooo, everybody says that stasis is bad and pointless and not worth inflicting on yourself ever and that the amulet is as bad as or worse than inacc. I say if silence has a niche (which it does), this spell does too.

Situationally useful spells are still useful spells.

/ot

Note that the poster you quoted was suggesting a monster spell, not a player spell, it's almost never useful to "stasis" a monster, very few of them do things that it'd be productive to inflict stasis on, whereas there's plenty of spellcaster monsters to silence.

The player on the other hand hand often has quite a number of things they can do which stasis prevents, stasis *does* prevent some bad effects too (which is why it's occasionally *situationally useful* for the player) but there's a larger number of good things the player can do, than bad things that a monster can do to the player which are prevented by stasis, which is why, on average, un-desired stasis is negative. (It's certainly not worse than inacc, I'd occasionally wear a stasis amulet on purpose, I guess if I had to choose one to remain cursed to me, I'd choose inacc, because the bonuses and escape possibilities available with no stasis are larger than the penalties imposed by inacc, but given two uncursed amulets, I'd always just drop the inacc one)


I was being facetious. (I still think the spell is a good idea, though.)

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Post Friday, 20th March 2015, 21:34

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

Silence is a bad spell, though...
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Post Friday, 20th March 2015, 21:45

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

mechanicalmaniac wrote:I was being facetious. (I still think the spell is a good idea, though.)
You realize blocking the blink self or Blink Frogs would make them MORE deadly, right? [Other than that and the rare unique that uses Tele Self as an escape spell there's very little that your spell would affect. AND only blink-self effect things (Blink Frogs, Phantoms) wouldn't also be affected by Silence. It's just useless. Cute thought; but no practical purpose. [/Sidetrack]
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Post Monday, 23rd March 2015, 01:05

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

Shouldn't it be "She has been sent to get the Orb for the formicid queen."? The only male ants are drones, aka the winged ones which look sorta like wasps and just live to mate and then die after a very short life-cycle. All worker/soldier ants are female.

I blame Bug's Life for this.

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Post Wednesday, 25th March 2015, 18:07

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

I like the idea of a stasis field monster spell a la Silence. (I'd also like a player version, if only so I could get those freaking crimson imps to HOLD STILL DAMMIT, but that's besides the point). We could also give him Dimension Anchor, if people think a stasis field is OP.

As for the sex of Pyriformis/formicids in general, that could go either way. Sure, IRL ants are mostly female, but this is a game with magic cats.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Wednesday, 25th March 2015, 19:05

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

I immediately would have suspected the formicid leader to be a queen, not a king, because ants.
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Post Wednesday, 25th March 2015, 21:38

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

spudwalt wrote:As for the sex of Pyriformis/formicids in general, that could go either way. Sure, IRL ants are mostly female, but this is a game with magic cats.


The real-world referent is still relevant. It's a "magic" felid to the extent it can do interesting game things, like cast magic spells and gain additional lives. But it still should be recognizably cat-like in that it has fur, claws, teeth, etc.

Since there is no interesting game element to the gender of the formicid monarch or formicid warriors, it follows that the formicid monarch's gender (and that of formicid warriors) should track the real-world nature of ants. Thus, queen.

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Mines Malingerer

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Post Wednesday, 25th March 2015, 21:40

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

Okay. New description and name change to Myrmecia.
A formicid warrior. Myrmecia has been sent by the formicid queen to get the orb. Myrmecia has studied the stasis of formicids, and learned how to extend that stasis to her surroundings for a short time.


EDIT: I might give her demension anchor in addition to stasis field. EDIT OF AN EDIT: no swiftness or dimension anchor.

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Mines Malingerer

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Post Monday, 30th March 2015, 00:45

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

Okay. The code is *finally* finished. I will put a patch out on mantis soon.

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Post Monday, 30th March 2015, 05:51

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

grisamentum wrote:
spudwalt wrote:Since there is no interesting game element to the gender of the formicid monarch or formicid warriors, it follows that the formicid monarch's gender (and that of formicid warriors) should track the real-world nature of ants. Thus, queen.


I think the move in Crawl flavouring has been to de-gender stuff as much as possible. No reason why reality should interfere with that agenda.
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Mines Malingerer

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Post Monday, 30th March 2015, 11:32

Re: Unique proposal: Myrmecia, Champion of Formicids

If anyone has a morgue of a character in late D, Snake, or Spider, please post it so that I can use it for playtesting.
Last edited by Grudge on Wednesday, 8th April 2015, 12:33, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Monday, 6th April 2015, 04:00

Re: Unique proposal: Pyriformis, Champion of Formicids

Kismet wrote:I think the move in Crawl flavouring has been to de-gender stuff as much as possible. No reason why reality should interfere with that agenda.


De-gendering the gods is definitely a thing, but all the uniques still have genders, which would include Pyriformis if s/he ever got included in the game.
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Mines Malingerer

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Post Wednesday, 8th April 2015, 12:32

Re: Unique proposal: Myrmecia, Champion of Formicids

Update with complete stats.

A formicid warrior. Myrmecia has been sent by the formicid queen to get the
Orb. Myrmecia has studied the stasis of formicids, and learned how to extend
that stasis to her surroundings for a short time.


Myrmecia has 19 HD, 160 HP, and gives about 2500 XP.
She burrows, and sees invisible.
She has 60 MR.
She hits for 34 damage, not including her weapon.
She has 3 AC and 10 EV before armour calculations.
She casts stasis. Stasis creates a silence-like field of effect that removes haste, slow, pending teleports, berserk, and finesse when you are in it, and also applies a stasis effect such as formicids have.
She uses storm dragon armour, shadow dragon armour, or cyrstal plate armour, a large shield, and a triple sword, exe axe, or bardiche.
She appears on V:1-3 or anywhere in Spider, Snake or Elf.
She comes with a band of about 5 boulder beetles and a death scarab or two as per Sandman25's suggestion.

Playtesting is not yet complete, but it is nearing completion.
Last edited by Grudge on Thursday, 9th April 2015, 15:31, edited 2 times in total.
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Lair Larrikin

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Post Wednesday, 8th April 2015, 15:08

Re: Unique proposal: Myrmecia, Champion of Formicids

I also had idea of formicid unique with stasis field. A formicid monk with four unarmed attacks per round ( muda! ), out to kill any surface-dweller in the Dungeon for killing off the formicids in Spider Nest. Augments his combat with earth magic. Lee's Rapid Deconstruction, Venom Bolt, Iron Shot and Statue Form! However, in statue form he is slowed, giving fragile people chance to escape.
Shafts on low hp, takes few turns. Usually appears in V:1-V:2, Depths:1-Depths:2 or Nest:4.

But excited to see your implementation.

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Post Thursday, 9th April 2015, 01:41

Re: Unique proposal: Myrmecia, Champion of Formicids

I love the idea of her being able to be equipped with CPA - sounds like you'll have a chance at some really good equipment if you manage to beat her. I'm not terribly sure I want to fight something with CPA and a bardiche, but she isn't meant to be easy :)
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