Starting spellbooks


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

What should be the highest level of a spell in a starting spellbook?

1
0
No votes
2
0
No votes
3
1
9%
4
3
27%
5
3
27%
6
1
9%
7
3
27%
 
Total votes : 11

Zot Zealot

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Post Wednesday, 11th May 2011, 12:18

Starting spellbooks

Some of us have the idea that spellcasting backgrounds are too strong because the spells in them are useable for a very long time of the game, so they are not rely on findings in the dungeon to survive. Some spells are useable for a very long part of the game.

Probably offending spells in a starting spellbook:
Bolt of Fire, Fireball, Freezing cloud, Throw icicle, Lightning bolt, Haste, Blade hands.

I think that starting spellbooks should not contain spells above level 4, but I could live with only level 3 spells, or lower, if spellbooks are generated a little bit more common.

If you want to have guranteed high level spells, you can always worship Sif Muna or some other caster god.

What's your opininon on this? I also created a poll because I've never created one, and it's a very cool feature of these forums. Sory if it's not very useful. Also, when answering, take into account that it's only a general power level, some bacgrounds may have an exception (like warper). Right now level 6 spells are not uncommon, and almost all backgrounds start with a level 5 spell in her book.

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Post Wednesday, 11th May 2011, 13:17

Re: Starting spellbooks

I'd say level 4 is a good maximum starting book level. The level 5 and 6 nukes are going to be the user's staple attack until Zot and beyond, and getting them for free means you essentially never want to find another spellbook of your starting skill because it definitely will not have anything better than what you have. Throw Icicle should also be replaced, but not because it's too high-level -- it should be removed because it is in a class of spells that are exceptionally good at what they do and better serve as a highly-desirable treasure to find than as a starting guarantee, such as Mystic Blast and Summon Butterflies.
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Post Wednesday, 11th May 2011, 14:34

Re: Starting spellbooks

I like the idea of putting a awesomeness cap on the spells of the starting book, however, assuming that there is a spell level cap (4?), what will you do with the elementalists and transmuters? Do they have good replacement spells? What would you replace Bladehands with? Petrify? Polymorph? Dig? Would you give IEs Condensation Shield to compensate them for the loss of Throw Icicle? Would you take LRD away from EEs?

I think that the gist of the OP is right; we it might be good to cut down on the Ultimate Imperial Flagship Spell of Awesomeness in the starting books, but I'm not sure that imposing a spell level cap is the way to do it, even if it is simple, and I think that to properly trim the spells, we would need functional (but not necessarily totally awesome and highly useful for the rest of the game) replacement spells.
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Post Wednesday, 11th May 2011, 15:58

Re: Starting spellbooks

The 'cap' is only meant to be a rule of thumb, not a hard-and-fast rule. If there's a good reason for it, a particular background can have higher or lower level spells. Wizards, for instance, are incredibly strong with nothing above level 3. Earth elementalists might keep Rapid Deconstruction in spite of the cap since it is such a major part of the earth play style and there's really no suitable spell to replace it with. At that point earth's early-game theme would be high-hunger paired with high-damage. Or a new spell could be created, and Rapid Deconstruction added to a couple other books so it generates more often.

For transmuters, there's the Griffon Form spell on the wiki, which is basically a flying combat form which would serve as an alternative source to charms. Transmutation/Air, level 4 or so, melds all armor and weapon slots, and has bonus damage to unarmed and some auxiliary attacks. It could probably deal Blade Hands-level damage at a lower spell level because the primary advantage of Blade Hands over other forms is the fact that it allows you to keep most of your armor slots. A form that has no meaningful disadvantages should be a rare spell that is not guaranteed to be found at all, not one that you can plan for from D1.
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Post Wednesday, 11th May 2011, 16:06

Re: Starting spellbooks

KoboldLord wrote:For transmuters, there's the Griffon Form spell on the wiki

Is there? This idea has been itching me for a while, and I've thrown it here and there but I've never polished it enough for the wiki. And I couldn't find it there.
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Post Wednesday, 11th May 2011, 16:32

Re: Starting spellbooks

galehar wrote:Is there? This idea has been itching me for a while, and I've thrown it here and there but I've never polished it enough for the wiki. And I couldn't find it there.


It isn't? Egads, you're right! I suppose I misremembered it as the best entry on the list of ideas on the transmutations page. It certainly deserves to be there. I'm hesitant to add it myself, though, because it isn't my idea originally, just one I support.

The problem with Blade Hands is that it makes anything that comes after it basically meaningless. There's no way a higher-level form in the late-game can really compete with a form that allows you to keep four potentially artifact-quality equipment slots, at least not without letting you keep all those slots. Guaranteed access to Blade Hands dilutes the thematic sacrifice of the Form line of spells, giving you something for effectively nothing. It would continue to be a transmuter problem spell even if powerful spells are good in principle.

minmay wrote:I'm not sure about spells like Blade Hands and Lightning Bolt, but fire elementalist should definitely have Fireball and Bolt of Fire. The school and background are defined by consisting mostly of straightforward blasting.


This is a problem with fire magic, not a reason to give them Bolt of Fire. Sticky Flame is still an incredible spell, even post-nerf, and along with Conjure Flame is reason enough to choose that starting background.

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Post Wednesday, 11th May 2011, 16:46

Re: Starting spellbooks

KoboldLord wrote:
galehar wrote:Is there? This idea has been itching me for a while, and I've thrown it here and there but I've never polished it enough for the wiki. And I couldn't find it there.


It isn't? Egads, you're right! I suppose I misremembered it as the best entry on the list of ideas on the transmutations page. It certainly deserves to be there. I'm hesitant to add it myself, though, because it isn't my idea originally, just one I support.


It's on this page: https://crawl.develz.org/wiki/doku.php?id=dcss:brainstorm:misc:forms_consistency as an "in passing" reference.
and this page: https://crawl.develz.org/wiki/doku.php?id=dcss:brainstorm:magic:immense
...as part of a (much) larger overhaul.

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Post Wednesday, 11th May 2011, 23:31

Re: Starting spellbooks

minmay wrote:The Blade Hands casting penalty is pretty significant (unless your only spell is Blade Hands, I guess), and other forms give you plenty of advantages over Blade Hands. I'm not convinced at all.


If you're putting up a form spell at all, you're presumably going into melee combat. If you're heading down the ranged caster path, then there's no real reason to have any form up at all, at least until Necromutation. By the late mid-game the benefits of your boots, cloak, body armor, and helm slots are likely to include quite a few critical resistances and special abilities, so turning into a spider, ice beast, statue, or dragon is going to involve a serious sacrifice on your part. The odds of getting a couple artifact armors with a couple resistances each, or boots of running, or other good equivalents are actually pretty decent, even if it doesn't happen every game.

The casting penalty is not particularly significant because you don't cast Blade Hands if you're not going to use it. The highest-level spell you're likely to cast is Haste, if your immediate plans are simply to gut everything in sight. If you're going to spam Shatter or Tornado, there's no reason to waste the turn putting up Blade Hands even if there was no penalty.

Early game, yeah, you're going to prefer Spider Form or Ice Form over Blade Hands most of the time. You have crap in the slots you're sacrificing anyway, so giving it up is no big deal. Which is all the more reason not to hand it out as starting kit.

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Post Thursday, 12th May 2011, 17:18

Re: Starting spellbooks

I only read the first post, so maybe this has already been adressed. But in my opinion the entire premise of this thread is wrong:

A caster is maybe even more reliant on finding things in the dungeon than a fighter. Armor items etc. don't differentiate casters and fighters, both have to find decent armor and jewellery. Fighting types can improve their weapon with enchant scrolls (which usually are plentiful enough), and weapons are everywhere, so you are almost guaranteed to find something branded with a decent enough base type. Sure, that war axe of frost isn't going to get you through Zot, but neither will Fireball.

Wizards on the other hand, which are the one caster background that doesn't get any mid level spells, are extremely reliant on finding a mid level attack spell early (not talking about conjurations, I mean anything that enables you to do some damage). This is because only after finding that spell they can plan what casting skills to train so they can actually reliably cast that attack spell by the time they need it. The one guaranteed mid level spell most casters get is there as a safeguard against the rng completely screwing you over, and to make sure the skills you trained early on will still be useful to you in the midgame. Fighters get enchant scrolls and crosstraining to do this. Plus they don't have to plan their skills in advance quite as much.

No background should be forced to worship a gifting god to have a decent chance of getting through the midgame. Wizards are already pretty close to this. Why would anyone want to put all other casters through the same trouble?

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Post Thursday, 12th May 2011, 19:58

Re: Starting spellbooks

If fighter-types started with a caster-level equipment package, they'd have an executioner's axe in their starting inventory. Then their players would complain about how they wanted one that was speed-branded, and how it isn't fair that they have to go Okawaru or Trog if they want a better weapon.

If caster-types started with a fighter-level equipment package, they'd have a level 1 offensive spell and maybe a level 1 buff or utility. They would sometimes get all the way to Orc without any upgrades to their starting Magic Dart spell, at which point they could at least upgrade to a mid-level spell (probably not one worth keeping until Zot, mind you) as long as they could soak the smite damage. Even if they did find a physical weapon to supplement their Magic Dart, they wouldn't be allowed to even wield it until they finished victory dancing fighting to level 1 against plants.

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Post Thursday, 12th May 2011, 20:15

Re: Starting spellbooks

Did you try playing some fighters? They're actually pretty powerful. An axe to the face is a really efficient way to kill things. You make it sound like casters are way easier.

Edit: also armor is really good.

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Post Thursday, 12th May 2011, 23:18

Re: Starting spellbooks

Galefury wrote:Did you try playing some fighters?


Yes. And as long as we're asking silly, passive-aggressive questions that have obvious answers, have you tried playing some casters?

Galefury wrote:An axe to the face is a really efficient way to kill things. You make it sound like casters are way easier.


There is no basis for comparison between the fighter's starting hand axe and shield, and a caster's ability to blanket the whole bloody screen in long-lasting confusion clouds that work almost perfectly on nearly everything for the hardest section of the game. Or a caster's access to functionally infinite charges of both the weak and strong attack wands. Or a caster's access to several of the most cost-effective escape abilities in the game.

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Post Friday, 13th May 2011, 09:21

Re: Starting spellbooks

I have played both fighters and casters. I'm not a great crawl player, but I also have won both a fighter, a caster, and some hybrids. The fighter was worshiping Okawaru (aha!), so you could say I dodged most of the equipment problems. I also lost some non Oka fighters in the midgame though, and I can honestly say it was almost never due to lack of a decent weapon. I have however lost some Wizards to not finding a decent attack spell to keep me going.

"A caster" cant blanket the whole screen with long lasting confusion clouds from the start. I think two casting backgrounds have guaranteed access to mephitic cloud at level 3 (with rather bad success rate which is somewhat hard to raise), and two more get distill/evaporate (guaranteed access at level two, fairly good success rate). I don't think this is good, mephitic cloud and evaporate are definitely overpowered. I have no idea why they have not been nerfed. This is a separate issue though.

My point is that both casters and fighters have mechanisms in place that guarantee the usefulness of their starting abilities into the mid and possibly endgame. Why do you propose removing this mechanism for casters? The analogy in your earlier post is very flawed, you only translate the caster safety net to fighters and the fighter problems to casters, but not the other way around. Fighters might start with an exec axe (or more realistically a broad axe that they cant even equip until level 6 and not use well until about level 10 to 15. It also causes massive hunger when attacking and you can only attack with it five times per fight.). But there also wouldn't be any enchant weapon scrolls and they would only find new weapons every three floors and on branch ends. About 80% of those rare finds would be completely useless to them by the way. And half of the remaining 20% would require serious skill investment to get any use out of.

If casters were like fighters on the other hand, yes, they might start with only a level one spell. But also every enemy and their mother would drop new spells, there would be a spellbook on every floor, and they would find quite a few scrolls of improve spell lying on the floor.

Of course my analogies are deeply flawed too. Fighters and casters have different playing styles built on very different paradigms. So the mechanisms that guarantee you can actually play with the playing style you chose to start with are also very different. Both do have them though, and this is a good thing. Some spells are overpowered, but I don't think there is a major balance problem between fighters and casters in the early and mid game. The big problem is that casters over time get free diversity and can not only pick up one escape mechanism but ten. But this has nothing to do with starting books.

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Post Saturday, 14th May 2011, 01:22

Re: Starting spellbooks

Galefury wrote:I also lost some non Oka fighters in the midgame though, and I can honestly say it was almost never due to lack of a decent weapon.


I expect it was from the aggregate effect of being forced to use consumables frequently. As a fighter, you run out. Casters rarely need consumables, because their starting books always provide either an escape option or the raw power to terminate combat through superior firepower. Since a challenge must be horrendous to cause any attrition at all to casters' permanent resources, there's very little that can challenge them without simply being unbeatable.

Galefury wrote:I have however lost some Wizards to not finding a decent attack spell to keep me going.


Wizards are currently unique amongst offensive casters in that they don't have any mid-level direct offense. Every other caster has mid- AND high-level options, and I'm suggesting that maybe they don't actually need to be guaranteed those high-level options. They can fight for it. It's excusable to have trouble with the wizard background's sole weakness, but that doesn't need we need to give away the farm to every wizard-like character.

By the way, as a wizard your imps should carry you to mid-Lair with no real trouble, regardless of deity choice. It's a highly unusual game that doesn't get you some manner of book spawn by then. Acquirement scrolls will usually get you something usable, too, if you're starting with absolutely nothing.

Galefury wrote:"A caster" cant blanket the whole screen with long lasting confusion clouds from the start. I think two casting backgrounds have guaranteed access to mephitic cloud at level 3 (with rather bad success rate which is somewhat hard to raise), and two more get distill/evaporate (guaranteed access at level two, fairly good success rate). I don't think this is good, mephitic cloud and evaporate are definitely overpowered. I have no idea why they have not been nerfed. This is a separate issue though.


Nearly every caster will have at least one of the three examples I listed. It is not very nice to list one of the three examples I listed, claim that only four casters can use it, and pretend you've addressed my argument.

Galefury wrote:My point is that both casters and fighters have mechanisms in place that guarantee the usefulness of their starting abilities into the mid and possibly endgame.


I don't know where this is supposed to be coming from. A warrior and a caster both have skills, and those skills will continue to be valuable if they are trained. This is not of particular interest because at worst the skills are equivalent. A warrior, however, will discard every item in that starting inventory at the first opportunity for replacement, while the caster has a guaranteed line of stepping stones through the hardest part of the game.

Galefury wrote:Why do you propose removing this mechanism for casters?


Because casters could, you know, stand to be nerfed a bit?

Galefury wrote:Fighters might start with an exec axe (or more realistically a broad axe that they cant even equip until level 6 and not use well until about level 10 to 15. It also causes massive hunger when attacking and you can only attack with it five times per fight.).


This would be a more relevant problem if dumping your mp on a monster didn't nearly always successfully kill it, or if most monsters weren't made out of food. Casters rarely run out of mp in practice because they only have to make it to the stairs to get it all back.

Galefury wrote:But there also wouldn't be any enchant weapon scrolls and they would only find new weapons every three floors and on branch ends. About 80% of those rare finds would be completely useless to them by the way. And half of the remaining 20% would require serious skill investment to get any use out of.


The impact of enchant weapon scrolls are less than trivial compared to the upgrade from Throw Flame to Bolt of Fire. Even a slaying bonus doesn't measure up to that gap. The capability to hit targets hidden behind meat shields alone is game-changing, to say nothing of the ability to sextuple damage output in corridors.

Galefury wrote:If casters were like fighters on the other hand, yes, they might start with only a level one spell. But also every enemy and their mother would drop new spells, there would be a spellbook on every floor, and they would find quite a few scrolls of improve spell lying on the floor.


You do realize that the vast majority of trash weapons dropped off monsters are useless to a fighter-type, right? A gnoll's halberd is unlikely to be of interest to a polearm-specialist, much less the user of another weapon. Finding an acceptable weapon base type with a brand that is actually useful is a much harder task, certainly not much easier than finding a mid-level spellbook.

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Post Saturday, 14th May 2011, 10:07

Re: Starting spellbooks

My fighters probably died because I'm not a great crawl player and got myself into trouble by taking unnecessary risks too often. That's how almost all of my characters die.

The Wizards I lost were before the book unification, I don't remember having summon imp. Also I cant get over you calling level 6 spells high level. Something you can start using after Lair (even if it's not all the time) is not high level. That Bolt of Fire might very well be the most powerful attacking spell an FE learns in a 3-rune game does not change that.

Also I said my analogies were just as flawed as yours. No need to waste three paragraphs on pointing out the flaws.

You say mages get a set of stepping stones through the hardest part of the game. Fighters get those too. You will find increasingly powerful weapons throughout the game, and you can use your enchant scrolls to tide you over if you run out of steam. You might have to take advantage of crosstraining to use the weapons you find. Having easy access to two or three weapon skills almost guarantees finding a decent weapon you can use. That's why crosstraining is in the game (or one of the reasons anyway).

FE on the other hand has exactly two spell schools he can train with his starting book: Fire and Conjurations. So the attack spells he absolutely needs to find are Fireball or Bolt of Fire. Anything else of similar power will require major skill investment, possibly at double XP cost. And they need to know what school to train in advance, and they need low level spells of that school to train with. And once they have all that, the fire magic skill they heavily invested in is mostly useless. The problem is not quite as serious for more diverse casters, but most are themed around one or two main schools. Finding an offensive spell usable in Zot for that main school in a 3 rune game is not only not guaranteed, it's not very likely.

Since we disagree on mages and fighters being fairly balanced except for a few overpowered spells it seems you are either much better than me at playing mages or much worse at playing fighters. So of course our opinions differ. If you find mages not challenging enough you could try playing some without learning level 5 and 6 level spells in the starting book, and post about your experiences. That would certainly be more interesting to both of us than throwing arguments at each other ad infinitum without any chance of ever convincing the other.

Edit: also note that just removing level 5+ spells from starting books would make it much harder to actually find these spells. They would have to be redistributed across the other books, or new ones would have to be introduced. This is not only a major balance change (that would require major playtesting), but also quite a bit of work.

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Post Saturday, 14th May 2011, 12:55

Re: Starting spellbooks

Galefury wrote:Also I cant get over you calling level 6 spells high level. Something you can start using after Lair (even if it's not all the time) is not high level. That Bolt of Fire might very well be the most powerful attacking spell an FE learns in a 3-rune game does not change that.


If your staple attack ability for Zot is not high-level, then what could possibly qualify as high-level? That's the end of the game.

You can certainly use it at the start of Lair, but the typical character will not yet be able to support to food cost outside emergencies. So there's even less reason to put it in a starting spellbook.

Galefury wrote:You say mages get a set of stepping stones through the hardest part of the game. Fighters get those too. You will find increasingly powerful weapons throughout the game, and you can use your enchant scrolls to tide you over if you run out of steam. You might have to take advantage of crosstraining to use the weapons you find. Having easy access to two or three weapon skills almost guarantees finding a decent weapon you can use. That's why crosstraining is in the game (or one of the reasons anyway).


Crosstraining does not work well. In practice, it is almost always a better idea to stubbornly hope for an upgrade in your focus skill than dump the 14 levels you've already ground up from scratch and pick up a new one. That one new better be a demon weapon of speed, or something similarly ridiculous, if you're going to expose yourself to that kind of self-abuse. And every bit of the wasted xp is an empty level, because you get no benefit whatsoever from it unless you're using that kind of weapon.

Galefury wrote:FE on the other hand has exactly two spell schools he can train with his starting book: Fire and Conjurations. So the attack spells he absolutely needs to find are Fireball or Bolt of Fire.


Even post-nerf, Sticky Flame is good enough to get you to Vaults. I've used it to kill dire elephants in Lair 8 and orc warlords in Orc 4, and it's actually surprisingly easy. Hydrae will demand Conjure Flame, too. Anyway, something will turn up.

Galefury wrote:Anything else of similar power will require major skill investment, possibly at double XP cost. And they need to know what school to train in advance, and they need low level spells of that school to train with. And once they have all that, the fire magic skill they heavily invested in is mostly useless. The problem is not quite as serious for more diverse casters, but most are themed around one or two main schools.


Wait, what? So fighters get to suck the crippling weapon-switching penalty and they'll just have to like it, even though since they can't victory dance weapon skills they have to completely discard the old skills before the new ones are ready. Meanwhile, it's a terribly onerous burden for casters to keep full access to their old spells while training up whatever they do find? It's far easier for a fire elementalist to retool into air or earth magic than for a fighter to switch weapon skills, because the fire elementalist gets to keep using the old fire spells.

Galefury wrote:Finding an offensive spell usable in Zot for that main school in a 3 rune game is not only not guaranteed, it's not very likely.


This is blatantly factually incorrect, and you should refrain from weakening your other arguments by making claims that are obviously untrue under even casual inspection. It is true that fighting a specific spell is not guaranteed by Zot, particularly if you're going for an uncommon one such as Ozocubu's Refrigeration or Abjuration, but you absolutely will find quite a few that you can use to kill things.

Galefury wrote:Edit: also note that just removing level 5+ spells from starting books would make it much harder to actually find these spells. They would have to be redistributed across the other books, or new ones would have to be introduced. This is not only a major balance change (that would require major playtesting), but also quite a bit of work.


It is true that any change would require follow-up changes, but modifying the contents of spellbooks is not a particularly difficult change. You may have already noticed that the devteam already modifies spellbooks frequently.
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Post Saturday, 14th May 2011, 13:18

Re: Starting spellbooks

I don't this is relevant to the subject. Maybe you should take this fighter vs mage discussion elsewhere.
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Post Saturday, 14th May 2011, 13:20

Re: Starting spellbooks

I find the two camps are a bit too entrenched.
Yes, pure meleeists are less flexible than casters and will therefore rely on consumables more often. On the other hand, they should have more health and take less damage. Cross-training is not the end all of a fighter's problems, but it adds a bit of flexibility. I wouldn't dismiss this option as easily as done above. One point I've missed in the discussion is that a caster's achilles heel is so often MP. Yes, they are power houses and kill more efficiently than fighters. But if they're run out of MP, they're often dead in the water.
(Sorry for keeping this off-topic. As a bonus remark, conduct the following thought experiment: could we make casters arbitrarily weaker (or stronger) than fighters? Sure, we could. The starting books are just one parameter.)

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Post Saturday, 14th May 2011, 14:10

Re: Starting spellbooks

Sorry to make the topic drift. I'll drop the tangent.

After the removal of Haste, the remaining spells I see as problems due to raw power alone are Bolt of Fire, Bolt of Cold, Freezing Cloud, Lightning Bolt, and Blade Hands. Throw Icicle, Mephitic Cloud, and Fullsome Distillation/Evaporate are a different kind of problem. Simply taking them out and adding nothing else in their place is probably not a good idea.

When your starting book contains the best spell for your build in the entire game, you have no incentive to look for more books of the same kind and you get no satisfaction for finding more books that match your original focus. A fire caster should be happy to get a new fire spellbook, but in actual play it feels more like Sif Muna is jerking you around when you get one, because you already have all the fire you could ever want or need. Marginal spells like Fireball or Bolt of Magma for fire casters, or Statue or Dragon Form for transmuters, will probably never see much action since if you wanted to focus on fire or forms you'd start with the book that guarantees the best spells in the line. Many perfectly serviceable spells hardly ever even get used.

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Post Saturday, 14th May 2011, 15:13

Re: Starting spellbooks

Bolt of Fire is not currently in any starting book (in 0.9) - it has been replaced by Bolt of Magma, and is also not in any of Vehumet's gifts. This, more than the nerfing of Sticky Flame, is what makes Fire Elementalists a less appealing start than Ice Elementalists (In my opinion.)

I suppose the overall question comes down to how much we want casters to depend on the RNG or gods for their attacking spells; wizards already do, but they sacrifice power for versatility. Do we want more of the casting backgrounds to be more like wizards, and if so, should they get more utility spells to make up for the loss of high powered killing spells?

My take on the question is that if you started as a Fire Elementalist, there's a good chance you wanted to play a fire elementalist, and not have to try to switch to Ice Magic after the early game because the only good spells you found were in that school.

However, with some new spells being added, quite a few others being removed, and the Hexes/Charms split still being reviewed, maybe it's time to completely reconsider all the spell books, and decide what should be readily available in starting books, what should be given in the various god books, and what should be a rare and interesting find.

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Post Saturday, 14th May 2011, 15:33

Re: Starting spellbooks

Jeremiah wrote:Bolt of Fire is not currently in any starting book (in 0.9) - it has been replaced by Bolt of Magma, and is also not in any of Vehumet's gifts.


It has? Good. I guess Crawl is moving mostly in the right direction even without my opinion.

I'm sure ice elementalists will have their turn at the end of the nerf stick soon enough.

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Post Saturday, 14th May 2011, 15:53

Re: Starting spellbooks

I've been behind a pretty large number of changes to early spellbooks, and yes, reducing such early access to some of the level 6 spells that will be used all the way through even a 15-rune win was one reason for some changes. There are a number of other reasons for the changes too, though.

Taking the replacement of Bolt of Fire with Bolt of Magma in the FE book as an example: it gives the book a more natural progression between Sticky Flame and Fireball (especially since people were complaining after Sticky Flame's range reduction that FE had no mid-level ranged damage), and it also encourages the use of some particularly underappreciated spells that are actually quite good (Bolt of Magma and Fireball, both decent but outshone by Bolt of Fire. Note that Lightning Bolt also fell into this camp before being included in the AE book, and now some are even claiming it's too powerful!). Plus there are plans to make Magma more interesting and fun.

With those aims in mind I think the EE and AE books, for example, are in a pretty good place now - they're certainly still powerful enough to get you well into the mid-game (assuming skillful play, hopefully!), and level 5 as the highest level spell feels about right for starting spellbooks to me, with exceptions where appropriate of course. I'd certainly consider tweaking the IE book at some point.

Lair Larrikin

Posts: 26

Joined: Thursday, 5th May 2011, 22:24

Post Sunday, 15th May 2011, 05:23

Re: Starting spellbooks

Interesting topic.

While going all crazy on the wiki to update it for 0.8.0, I noticed that Necromancers lost Symbol of Torment, which was a heck of a spell for them. They also have no level 9 spells now, as far as I can tell. But that's off topic...

I sort of like this idea. If starting spellbooks had many more spells of lower level to replace a few higher level spells, that would make the starting game much more interesting, while giving added versatility to beginner spellcasters.

In short, I think we need a bunch more low-level (<5) spells across the board.

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