Fulsome Distillation and Evaporate


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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 29th March 2011, 21:05

Fulsome Distillation and Evaporate

Yeah, Evaporate is flat-out overpowered. The reagent cost as ammunition is completely inadequate to balance out the functionally limitless supply of mephitic and poisonous clouds you get. The mephitic effect is better (2mp, less food) than the (overpowered) spell version, and poisonous clouds absolutely slaughter almost everything up to the late midgame. Not to mention how bad it makes the hexes magic skill look.

How about we just remove Fulsome Distillation from the game entirely? Stalkers and transmuters can start with a few extra harmful potions, or with pre-identification of a wider variety of harmful potions, if they really need more. If harmful potions were actually a meaningfully scarce resource, using them as a reagent would actually be a drawback instead of an inventory management minigame. That would take out the most effective form of mutation scumming, too.

If Fulsome Distillation has some merit that makes it worth salvaging at all, it can always be brought back as an invocation for some new or existing deity.

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Post Tuesday, 29th March 2011, 21:29

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

minmay wrote:I really hope that permanent distilled polymorph potions stay. Not mutation potions, but polymorph potions - ones that can be evaporated into mutagenic clouds.

Why? I've never found them very useful. How do you use them?
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Post Tuesday, 29th March 2011, 21:41

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

KoboldLord wrote:How about we just remove Fulsome Distillation from the game entirely?


What if all distilled potions were unstable?
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Post Tuesday, 29th March 2011, 21:55

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

njvack wrote:What if all distilled potions were unstable?


So it decays like potions of blood? Then we keep an orc or kobold fridge for whenever we want to hit up a difficult area, just like vampire characters do for potions of blood when clearing Pan or Hells. Making inventory management more annoying is not the same thing as fixing an abuse.

Besides, if your potions are going to disappear shortly anyway, you're going to end up spamming them at everything that moves because you won't get another chance, and you can distill new ones from the new corpses anyway. Rather than being forced to consider whether you're willing to spend a scarce resource, the answer is always yes because you lose the resource anyway and it isn't good for anything else.

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Barkeep

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Post Tuesday, 29th March 2011, 22:38

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

Good points.

How about: X% of the time, distillation simply eats the corpse and gives you no potion. Then you get the limited resource again. If X is big enough, it begins to make potion creation compete with chunk creation.

For more fun, a failed distillation could (sometimes?) yield a 1-square cloud of the evaporated potion, on your square, for a very short duration... distilling that corpse has a chance to mephitic or poison you.

I definitely agree distill/evaporate is overpowered, but it's an interesting mechanic.
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Post Tuesday, 29th March 2011, 23:10

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

I think unstable potions is an interesting idea for nerfing the fulsome / evap combo. We can also apply it to just a few of them, like decay for example. But the main nerf will come by scaling the cloud effect to the spell power. And capping evap at a lower level than meph and much lower than poisonous cloud. Maybe evap at 50, meph at 100 and poisonous cloud at 200 for example.
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Post Wednesday, 30th March 2011, 00:40

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

njvack wrote:For more fun, a failed distillation could (sometimes?) yield a 1-square cloud of the evaporated potion, on your square, for a very short duration... distilling that corpse has a chance to mephitic or poison you.


Thinking about this a little more, instead of a cloud, it could just sometimes give you the effect of the potion. Something like:

  Code:
You extract a potion of mutation from the corpse.
You accidentally inhale some of the fumes! You feel extremely strange.
Colorless scales grow over part of your body. Your metabolism slows. You feel a little pissed off.


That'd both make Fulsome Distillation fit the "necromantic spells convey some risk to the caster" pattern, and make the mutation roulette game a little more... interesting. You can still play that game, but you run the risk of spinning the roulette wheel every time you distill.

Sorry about the a self-reply... :|
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Halls Hopper

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Post Wednesday, 30th March 2011, 00:58

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

galehar wrote:
minmay wrote:I really hope that permanent distilled polymorph potions stay. Not mutation potions, but polymorph potions - ones that can be evaporated into mutagenic clouds.

Why? I've never found them very useful. How do you use them?


I don't know what minmay referred to, but isn't mutagenic cloud a good way to turn brown ugly things into less obnoxious versions? I haven't used it in that context, but carry /polymorph for the same purpose.

KoboldLord wrote: ... The mephitic effect is better (2mp, less food) than the (overpowered) spell version, and poisonous clouds absolutely slaughter almost everything up to the late midgame. ... If harmful potions were actually a meaningfully scarce resource, using them as a reagent would actually be a drawback ...


I made transmuters almost exclusively in 0.4.*, and have hated Fulsome Distillation since; an endless supply of !confusion / !poison entails lots of boring inventory management. Evaporate is a strong, fun effect with which it is possible to get very creative, though; it would be a shame to nerf it into just another blah level 2 spell which still requires lots of boring inventory management. If FD is removed (or at least removed from the starting spellbook) it opens up the potential for excitement at finding a D:2 shop filled with poison potions, hard decisions about killing a mummy with potions in your inventory, and so forth.

As a side note, the single strongest Evaporation effect is !water. Since you can target it in front of you, unlike ?fog, you don't spend a turn crossing your fingers before line of sight is blocked. It is better than ?blinking in many situations, and second only to Death's Door in uncontrolled teleport areas.
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Halls Hopper

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Post Wednesday, 30th March 2011, 01:03

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

njvack wrote:For more fun, a failed distillation could (sometimes?) yield a 1-square cloud of the evaporated potion, on your square, for a very short duration... distilling that corpse has a chance to mephitic or poison you.


Almost by definition, FD happens when a fight is already over; at that point a sensible player (IE one who has lost a previous character to failing FD) will rest to 100% and glance around for nearby enemies, so getting confused or poisoned is not a meaningful threat. It'd certainly make one think twice about harvesting rot or mutation, though.

TGW

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Post Wednesday, 30th March 2011, 01:24

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

That was tried briefly a while ago (0.6 trunk) and it was very unfun. Basically, people would die on D:1 because they were getting poisoned by kobold corpses.
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Post Wednesday, 30th March 2011, 01:52

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

TGW wrote:That was tried briefly a while ago (0.6 trunk) and it was very unfun. Basically, people would die on D:1 because they were getting poisoned by kobold corpses.


Huh -- I'd imagine that distilling kobold corpses would be something you'd need to wait until CL2 or 3 for -- when you're strong enough to start quaff-ID'ing potions. Maybe just mutagenic corpses?

Regardless, you've tried it :)
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Post Wednesday, 30th March 2011, 03:46

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

waiting out poison/confusion/whatever is still annoying after it stops being dangerous, too.
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Post Wednesday, 30th March 2011, 08:14

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

minmay wrote:
galehar wrote:
minmay wrote:I really hope that permanent distilled polymorph potions stay. Not mutation potions, but polymorph potions - ones that can be evaporated into mutagenic clouds.

Why? I've never found them very useful. How do you use them?

Oh, it's not because they're useful. It's because they're really fun. Please don't tell me I'm the only person who likes turning an orc pack into ten different types of animal.

Well, then you'll still be able to have that fun. The idea is simply to prevent hoarding them. We're free to let the player keep them for a long time before they mutate into another potion.
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Mines Malingerer

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Post Wednesday, 30th March 2011, 09:34

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

Making the potions unstable still might not balance things, as there tend to be a lot of corpses in the areas where the spell tends to be useful.

What about making the conversion success rate for fulsome distillation proportional to spell power? Overall you would net fewer potions (this could be adjusted until reagents are appropriately scarce). Each potion would come at a much greater cost - on average, several corpses that could've been used for something else. This would also make it harder for non TM/necro characters to put the spell combo to use (another nerf), though they would still get some utility out of it.

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Post Wednesday, 30th March 2011, 13:09

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

Distillation used to have spell power determine what kind of potion you got out of a corpse -- you'd need more power to get the better results, and it helped if the corpse was rotting at the time. But that made for some pretty ugly management of things if you wanted a chance of getting the better potions. You'd end up with a lot of confusion and water and relatively few of the nastier ones, at least until you got the power up.

Certainly an early kobold vault would not instantly yield up half a dozen easy poison potions.
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Post Wednesday, 30th March 2011, 14:02

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

Was the spell power-potion type correlation removed just because of the rotting corpses hassle? Could this be re-implemented without the rotting mechanic? It seems like it could certainly fix the 80 potions of mutation you can get by the end, particularly if the power ceiling was relatively high and mutation and decay were the top tier potions. It would also fix having to add a fiddly mechanic like potion instability.

I don't remember how Fulsome worked before (I was just starting and hadn't done too many transmuters), but the corpse type should affect the tier of potion you could get (goblin-> Water up to Confusion, Very Ugly Thing -> Water up to Degeneration/Mutation(special), Ghoul -> Water up to Degeneration/Decay(special)). Also, because you would have a continuum with such a system, you might also want to add some different clouds (at a later implementation): Slowing, Sleeping, Explosive? (mini-LRD), Acid?, Blindness? (Drastically increase Stealth against affected monsters; affected player has LOS temporarily reduced, but effectively continuously makes loud noises, so that monsters could find the player).
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Post Wednesday, 30th March 2011, 14:10

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

I don't think limiting the creation of mutation potions on low power fulsome would fix the problem with mutation potions hoarding. It would just limit it to transmuters and necromancers.
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Post Wednesday, 30th March 2011, 14:22

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

Going from memory here, but what you could possibly get depended on the type of corpse, spell power, and rotted state. Monster HD may have come into play.

There are two pairs for each corpse type. The first pair is for an intact corpse, the second pair for a rotting corpse. Within each pair, the second is what you'd get if you made a roll against spell power (don't remember the formula), otherwise you'd get the first. Where monster HD may have come in is in that formula for your success roll.

Clean: (water | water / water | confusion)
Contaminated: (water | confusion / confusion | confusion)
Poisonous: (confusion | poison / poison | strong poison)
HCl/rotgenic: (poison | degeneration / degeneration | decay)
Mutagenic: (degeneration | mutation / mutation | mutation)

There were some fixed values, just as there are now. Yellow wasps always gave paralysis, and I think there was a guaranteed slowing in there.

(Can you tell I played a lot of Tm in 0.5 and spent a lot of time with this lookup table? I even put a travel_stop setting into my crawlrc to tell me when a corpse rotted, as I would lug corpses around with me just to distill them in the early going.)
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Post Wednesday, 30th March 2011, 15:01

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

I'm not sure I understand the goal of the discussion. Currently mutation roulette is being treated like it's a bad thing, but the only species that really wants mutation roulette are demigods, everyone else can (and does) just join jivya or nemelex. If mutation roulette itself is seen as a bad thing, does that mean changes for nemelex (who has much bigger issues)?

If the complaint is that fulsome iding potions is too powerful, why not just making Fulsome Distillation a level 2 spell and evaporate a level 3 spell? Corpse drops are important for a lot of things more than just transmuters, and decaying potions sounds like a micro management nightmare. If the complaint is specifically that evaporate being able to create miasma is too powerful, why not treat potions of decay as slightly better potions of degeneration. Still a chance at poison instead of miasma. Really, since your character is making these potions in a dungeon, it'd thematically make sense to me that the effects of evaporating it wouldn't be completely reliable.
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Post Wednesday, 30th March 2011, 15:27

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

Well, there are several things being discussed here.
The OT was about the fact that decay were becoming more common. We can fix this by reducing vampire mosquitoes corpse drop, or by nerfing decay like you suggest. I'd rather go with the former, since your proposal would just make decay very similar to degeneration.
There's also the mutation potions. We specifically removed alter self, because it was a cheap way to get rid of a nasty mutation (much cheaper than changing religion). But you can still do almost the same thing by distilling and hoarding mutation potions. One possible fix would be to make them temporary.
And finally, there's the general overpowerdness of the fulsome / evap combo. For evap, scaling cloud effects with spell power would help a lot here (and also with Meph). For fulsome, I think it's better to make all distilled potions temporary than just make the process unreliable. I don't see how that would create a micro-managment nightmare. Use them now or never, it actually reduces the inventory management.
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Post Wednesday, 30th March 2011, 15:38

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

A micromanagement nightmare because it'd encourage trying to track which potions were created when, making circles to get corpses at the last moment before they rot too far, make backtracking for difficult spawns (early phantom, grinder, ghost etc.) seriously costly in more than just food. It means you wouldnt necessarily want to clear the hive or mines but rather make circuits for when you think you might need confusion, when you think you might need poison, etc.

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Post Wednesday, 30th March 2011, 15:55

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

galehar wrote:For fulsome, I think it's better to make all distilled potions temporary than just make the process unreliable. I don't see how that would create a micro-managment nightmare. Use them now or never, it actually reduces the inventory management.


I agree wholeheartedly with all the other points, but I think this one might have some perverse effects.
It would make me check me inventory all the time, although it would also free up inventory spots, so it would have various effect on inventory management. The micro-management would come in the form of farming monsters for potion distillation. We'd end up farming the Orcish Mines or whatnot. Vampires' blood farming is not generally considered fun, though I've never tried, so this might make evap less fun as well.

If this does happen, consdier special-case decay. I mean how does a potion of decay decay, anyway? And adding fun effects from other potions that are hard to come by would keep evap strong and fun. Berserk rage should cause rage, slow can slow, paralysis can paralyze, heal wounds could heal allies. (Actually, evap as a spell supporting allies would be great fun.)
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Post Wednesday, 30th March 2011, 17:21

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

You're right guys. Let's keep the unstable feature to distilled potions of mutation. I'm not even sure fulsome needs a nerf. Let's start by nerfing evap, we'll see about fulsome after.
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Post Wednesday, 30th March 2011, 19:16

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

Agreed on the problem being with Evaporate rather than Fulsome (apart from the mutation potion issue). Some random brainstorming going on here, leaning toward the silly side:

1) Adopt the cloud spells' flood fill routine. Suddenly using Evaporate in a corridor or small room is less attractive at higher power if you're going for the nastier effects.

2) In a similar vein, I can't shake the idea of the possibility of things Going Horribly Right with this spell. A magical grenade with a blast radius wider than the distance you can possibly throw it...

Admittedly, both of these proposals would be negated by the fact that a single rPois renders the player immune to the two most common uses of Evaporate. But you'd definitely be very careful about tossing a miasma bomb.
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Post Wednesday, 30th March 2011, 22:08

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

What about adding a sort of "Strong Evaporation" spell? Say... current Evaporation can only pull weaker effects from potions (particularly those with multiple effects) while the new, higher level spell (thinking five or six, but whatever is settled on would need testing) would produce the strong, nasty effects like miasma clouds and all that good stuff?
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Post Wednesday, 30th March 2011, 22:53

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

My proposition: Evaporated potions only create a small cloud (1 tile). Then it would be still useful, but not as overpowered.

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Post Thursday, 31st March 2011, 01:01

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

What about making cloud size proportional to spell power? It need not max out at the current 9 squares. You could change it to range from say, targeted square+2 (randomly selected neighbors) to targeted square + 5. A downside to this I can see is that it'd be hard to tell what monsters are hit by cloud in a large group.

Alternately, have it affect the center square and the four around it in a + pattern.

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Post Thursday, 5th May 2011, 22:54

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

Cybermg wrote:What about making cloud size proportional to spell power?

I like this. It jives with the planned changes to duration-based spells. If spell power were special-cased to that it depended entirely (or more-so) on fire, then evap would be very nerfed.

Stormfox wrote:Adopt the cloud spells' flood fill routine.

I like this as well. It'd be something of a nerf. But the real reason I like it is that it promotes fighting in open spaces. 0.9's excellent new cloud targeting feedback tells you which squares will be covered and which might be covered, so some of that functionality is already coded. (Thanks to whoever coded that!)
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Post Thursday, 5th May 2011, 23:05

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

smock wrote:
Cybermg wrote:What about making cloud size proportional to spell power?

I like this. It jives with the planned changes to duration-based spells. If spell power were special-cased to that it depended entirely (or more-so) on fire, then evap would be very nerfed.

Stormfox wrote:Adopt the cloud spells' flood fill routine.

I like this as well. It'd be something of a nerf. But the real reason I like it is that it promotes fighting in open spaces. 0.9's excellent new cloud targeting feedback tells you which squares will be covered and which might be covered, so some of that functionality is already coded. (Thanks to whoever coded that!)

Kilobyte did, so thanks to him!
Making evap use cloud targeting with the size based on spell power is a great idea, I love it! The fact that it is currently more effective at blocking LOS than scrolls of fog feels very wrong. That would fix that and make the spell generally less reliable, which is good.
However, I wouldn't tie its spell power to fire. Evap is the transmuter's spell, not the FE spell. I don't see any reason to change that.
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Post Thursday, 5th May 2011, 23:21

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

galehar wrote:However, I wouldn't tie its spell power to fire. Evap is the transmuter's spell, not the FE spell. I don't see any reason to change that.


Good point. One reason is that (I hear that) FE are relatively weak at the moment. (Tgis is not a very good reason!) But, in the end, normal spell power calculations influence cloud cover would constitute a strong (and smart, I think) nerf.

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Post Friday, 6th May 2011, 07:25

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

I'll be the voice of dissent and suggest leaving these as they are. Fullsome + Evap has a nice synergy. Inventory management isn't any worse than juggling scrolls or wands, which I do just as much.
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Post Friday, 6th May 2011, 07:45

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

ibanix wrote:I'll be the voice of dissent and suggest leaving these as they are. Fullsome + Evap has a nice synergy. Inventory management isn't any worse than juggling scrolls or wands, which I do just as much.

Evaporate is too powerful for a L2 spell and could use a little nerf. After thinking about it, I'm not so sure about the cloud targetting. Cloud spells are smite targeted and silent. Evaporate is a noisy explosion. It would be strange to have an explosion that uses cloud-like spreading. Maybe we need a new effect, like the targeted cell is turned into a fog generator for a few turns for example.
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Post Friday, 6th May 2011, 13:03

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

galehar wrote:
ibanix wrote:I'll be the voice of dissent and suggest leaving these as they are. Fullsome + Evap has a nice synergy. Inventory management isn't any worse than juggling scrolls or wands, which I do just as much.

Evaporate is too powerful for a L2 spell and could use a little nerf. After thinking about it, I'm not so sure about the cloud targetting. Cloud spells are smite targeted and silent. Evaporate is a noisy explosion. It would be strange to have an explosion that uses cloud-like spreading. Maybe we need a new effect, like the targeted cell is turned into a fog generator for a few turns for example.

Since this is how real gas grenades work, it's plausible. Spell power would then increase the duration.
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Post Saturday, 7th May 2011, 00:56

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

galehar wrote:I'm not so sure about the cloud targetting. Cloud spells are smite targeted and silent. Evaporate is a noisy explosion. It would be strange to have an explosion that uses cloud-like spreading. Maybe we need a new effect, like the targeted cell is turned into a fog generator for a few turns for example.


I think it just depends on what you envision happening during the spell. Is the potion broken on the ground, turned into an evaporating puddle of toxic sludge? If so, then the fog generator approach makes sense. Is the potion a missile that explodes in the air? If so, then the cloud makes sense. Either would be better, as long as spell power is in the equation.

The points on cloud targeting and noise are totally true and could affect how it's all coded but I don't see how it's directly relevant to clouds.

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Post Saturday, 7th May 2011, 13:40

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

minmay wrote:Thinking about it more, I really like KoboldLord's solution of removing Fulsome Distillation. The problem, after all, is that you get these effects in a practically unlimited capacity.

If unlimited is the problem, set limits. Unlmited to Zero seems like an unwarranted drastic change. Congealing the potions made from distillation seems like it could limit the number a player could accumulate. You could even make congealing faster in large stacks of potions, or when many exist anywhere in the game (stash search.)

Maybe carrying large numbers of high-end potions is overpowered, but when you are starting out and you haven't gotten rid of the hunger cost of evaporating, the choice between chunks and potions limits how many you can have. And even through Lair, the weight keeps you from carrying too many because you're trying to get Intelligence higher to cast blade hands reliably and cheaply.

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Post Saturday, 7th May 2011, 15:00

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

jejorda2 wrote:If unlimited is the problem, set limits. Unlmited to Zero seems like an unwarranted drastic change.


The Fulsome Distillation-Evaporate combo is so outrageously out there compared to almost everything else available that a drastic change is really going to be necessary. In the current system, the requirement for ammunition doesn't actually do anything but make inventory management more annoying, because you can get many hundreds of confusion and poison potions from low-threat orcs, kobolds, and bees, far more potions than you could possibly use.

If we don't make the ammunition more meaningful, other possibilities would be to limit the cloud to one tile, or to randomly scatter cloud tiles instead of providing a reliable 3x3 or corridor-fill. Automatically hitting the player with the potion's effect might help, too, but rPois is too available for me to be optimistic. A final possibility would be to raise Evaporate to level 6 or so, which is about appropriate for how good it is.

jejorda2 wrote:Congealing the potions made from distillation seems like it could limit the number a player could accumulate. You could even make congealing faster in large stacks of potions, or when many exist anywhere in the game (stash search.)


This would encourage players to train a potion fridge in the form of live orcs, kobolds, or bees around. Go to Orc, kill the casters in an orc band, let the others bunch up around you at each stairwell, and you can take them all the way down to Zot if you want. Spider Form to ditch them, and come back whenever you need confusion potions. Vampire players already sometimes make blood fridges for healing in the post-endgame branches, and this behavior is considered undesirable for a variety of reasons. Making all transmuters do the same thing would not be an improvement.

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Post Saturday, 7th May 2011, 15:50

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

The overpowered part of that duo of spells is evaporate though, not fulsome. Besides seriously altering the way transmuters would play, removing fulsome would remove one of the more unique and interesting spells in the game.

It's much better to target evaporate for nerfs since, frankly, it could use some.

Abyss Ambulator

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Post Saturday, 7th May 2011, 15:55

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

I'd say that while the fulsome/evaporate combo certainly needs a nerf, any move to do so would also mean you would have to rethink the Transmuter and (especially) Stalker backgrounds. While transmuters are really about forms, with evaporate being a good way to get through the early game, Stalkers really don't have anything other than Evaporate to fight with - maybe the background should be reverted to the 0.7 version, or just removed.

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Post Saturday, 7th May 2011, 17:43

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

ryak wrote:The overpowered part of that duo of spells is evaporate though, not fulsome. Besides seriously altering the way transmuters would play, removing fulsome would remove one of the more unique and interesting spells in the game.

It's much better to target evaporate for nerfs since, frankly, it could use some.


Evaporate and Fulsome Distillation cannot reasonably be separated in value. At the moment, Fulsome Distillation's only major use is providing ammunition for Evaporate. If this purpose is removed, then I don't think the free potion identification and mutation roulette properties (the latter is already on the chopping block for other reasons, mind you) justify the continued existence of the spell.

Programmer's Intent appears to be that Evaporate should be a powerful effect limited by the availability of reagents. Removing or restricting the spell that removes this disadvantage would be an indirect nerf to Evaporate, although it's certainly not the only nerf possible.

Jeremiah wrote:I'd say that while the fulsome/evaporate combo certainly needs a nerf, any move to do so would also mean you would have to rethink the Transmuter and (especially) Stalker backgrounds. While transmuters are really about forms, with evaporate being a good way to get through the early game, Stalkers really don't have anything other than Evaporate to fight with - maybe the background should be reverted to the 0.7 version, or just removed.


Transmuters will be fine. They'd struggle a bit until they pick up Sticks to Snakes, but given a supply of reagents that spell will absolutely roll any unique or out-of-depth target up until Lair, including poison-immunes like Grinder or black mambas. At which point Ice Form will kick in. Transmuters didn't need a stick-generating spell, and they don't need a potion-generating spell either.

Stalkers still have stealth and stabbing to get them through, even if Evaporate won't win every battle for them on its own. It's easier to replace the stalker's starting offensive potions with floor trash than it is to replace the assassin's starting curare.

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Post Saturday, 7th May 2011, 19:37

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

KoboldLord wrote:Transmuters didn't need a stick-generating spell, and they don't need a potion-generating spell either


Are you serious? Sticks are all over the place in the dungeon. Arrows come in stacks of 20 or more, and if you can't find arrows, there's always polearms, staves, and, failing that, the obiquitous clubs. On the other hand, you may well not find a single potion of confusion until after evaporate has stopped being useful.

While I agree that evaporate, like mephitic cloud, makes the early game too much of a breeze, eliminating fulsome distillation will make it almost completely useless, functionally turning it for transmuters into a "wand of evaporate" with 2 confusion and 1 poison charges (and no one apart from transmuters will bother memorizing it).

Now, since evaporate and mephitic cloud share the same problem, why not take the Columbus' egg's approach and nerf them in what they have in common, instead of trying to come up with 2 different nerfs that risk dooming both to uselessness? Simply alter the formula for resisting its effect so that low-HD monsters have more chances of being unaffected. Voilà le nerf.

Halls Hopper

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Post Saturday, 7th May 2011, 19:46

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

What about making poisonous clouds subject to random breezes like clouds of steam are? It would only be logical and Transmuters would retain their deadliness while requiring a bit more care to play early one.

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Post Saturday, 7th May 2011, 21:16

Re: Potions of decay and vampire mosquitoes

asdu wrote:On the other hand, you may well not find a single potion of confusion until after evaporate has stopped being useful.


Not remotely plausible, even if we insist on specifically potions of confusion. When you consider that there's a game-breakingly useful Evaporate effect for every otherwise non-useful potion, there is zero chance of being unable to find replacement potions. And if by some freak occurrence you don't find any negative potions at all… Congratulations! That means you got regular-useful potions instead! Just use all those extra potions of speed and might to punch your way through any opposition, because you're freaky-lucky this game.

asdu wrote:While I agree that evaporate, like mephitic cloud, makes the early game too much of a breeze, eliminating fulsome distillation will make it almost completely useless, functionally turning it for transmuters into a "wand of evaporate" with 2 confusion and 1 poison charges (and no one apart from transmuters will bother memorizing it).


The initial inventory can be tweaked. The transmuter already starts with 12 or so non-renewable arrows, and they can start with more than three potions, too, if those are harder to replace. It's also possible to pre-identify other bad potions as a transmuter background feature, so they don't waste the first one quaff-identifying it.

asdu wrote:Now, since evaporate and mephitic cloud share the same problem, why not take the Columbus' egg's approach and nerf them in what they have in common, instead of trying to come up with 2 different nerfs that risk dooming both to uselessness? Simply alter the formula for resisting its effect so that low-HD monsters have more chances of being unaffected. Voilà le nerf.


You can't nerf Poisonous Cloud hard enough that a 3x3 grid of it is an appropriate effect for a level 2 spell that you can use functionally infinitely. You could remove all the overpowered effects from Evaporate, but then you basically have Level 2 Mephitic Cloud That Is Transmutation For Some Reason and you've lost the essential character of the spell, in which case you might as well just remove the spell to start with.
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Dungeon Master

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Post Saturday, 7th May 2011, 22:22

Re: Fulsome Distillation and Evaporate

I think the many ways in which a corpse can be used in Crawl is one of its great feature and fulsome contributes to this. And I agree with asdu that removing fulsome would make evap useless, there's not enough bad potions generated. Let's give it a 1/3 success chance, that should help.
What is really needed (as I already said) is nefing evaporate by scaling cloud effect with spell power and capping it at 50.
<+Grunt> You dereference an invalid pointer! Ouch! That really hurt! The game dies...

Abyss Ambulator

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Post Saturday, 7th May 2011, 22:32

Re: Fulsome Distillation and Evaporate

I quite like the idea (that someone else mentioned further up) that Fulsome Distillation would be more likely to be successful at higher spell power - but still not 100% even at maximum power, thus making potions scarcer especially early on.

This could of course be combined with any of the suggestions for nerfing Evaporate or making it scale with spell power.
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Halls Hopper

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Post Sunday, 8th May 2011, 03:32

Re: Fulsome Distillation and Evaporate

>Let's give it a 1/3 success chance, that should help.

it should stop everyone to use it rather
it's good enough how it is

Blades Runner

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Post Sunday, 8th May 2011, 04:46

Re: Fulsome Distillation and Evaporate

I'm afraid that removing FD would turn evap from overpowered to underpowered.

A 1/3 chance of success on evaporate would be good, I think.

Why not just change the types of corpses that yield potions? If orcs didn't yield potions of confusion and bees didn't yield potions of poison, it'd be a great (but conservative) start toward balancing evaporate. Making contaminated HD5-7 yield confusion and contaminated HD8+ yield degeneration might work. Likewise for poison. Vampire mosquitoes should not yield corpses at all.
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