Tornado


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

User avatar

Dungeon Master

Posts: 4031

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 20:37

Location: France

Post Thursday, 19th May 2011, 14:57

Tornado

I've seen several calls to nerf tornado and I've talk to kilobyte about it. He thinks that if we nerf it, everybody will go back to firestorm for the extended endgame. He'd rather see the spell go back to conj/air because he doesn't want the spell to be used only in 3 runes game (which he thinks are boring).
Personally, I disagree. I think it's fine if tornado and shatter are used for clearing branch ends and zot, and the storm spells for hells, pan and zigs.
What do you guys think?
<+Grunt> You dereference an invalid pointer! Ouch! That really hurt! The game dies...

TGW

Halls Hopper

Posts: 82

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 22:14

Post Thursday, 19th May 2011, 15:04

Re: Tornado

randomly slapping on schools for balance reasons isn't a satisfactory solution, especially when it means everyone is a conjurer in endgame
User avatar

Dungeon Master

Posts: 4031

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 20:37

Location: France

Post Thursday, 19th May 2011, 15:13

Re: Tornado

TGW wrote:randomly slapping on schools for balance reasons isn't a satisfactory solution, especially when it means everyone is a conjurer in endgame

Flavour wise, tornado is probably better being pure air. Another possibility would be to push it up to L10. The question is: do we want to make it an alternative to storm spells for extended endgame or do we want to keep it available earlier? In the latter case, this would probably make it quite useless for endgame branches.
<+Grunt> You dereference an invalid pointer! Ouch! That really hurt! The game dies...
User avatar

Blades Runner

Posts: 575

Joined: Tuesday, 18th January 2011, 15:11

Post Thursday, 19th May 2011, 15:27

Re: Tornado

making it double-school again would delay the point at which you cast it comfortably, but it'd be just as unbalanced from then on. it's just as strong as the storm spells, with no element of self-risk, and a nearly irrelevant penalty (a negative spell enhancer doesn't matter much when you're killing everything on screen anyway).

there were good ideas in the wiki, e.g. a smaller/decaying radius, or different effects on different creatures (flying creatures might be more or less affected, and size could matter too). or make it useful defensively (say, blink enemies around and away from you, irresistibly, give *them* a significant negative spell enhancer too, etc) while reducing damage. something of this nature would also make it less conjuration-like.

as for dropping it in the extended end-game in favor of the storm spells... it's a matter of balance. i wouldn't worry about it too much anyway.
Wins: DDBe (3 runes, morgue file)

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1567

Joined: Friday, 21st January 2011, 22:56

Post Thursday, 19th May 2011, 15:43

Re: Tornado

Even if damage is divided by 5 Tornado will still be useful in extended endgame. Most chars are actually quite good with some weapon or can cast other powerful offensive spells by then, and you can still whack stuff or cast just fine with Tornado running. It's essentially free damage, and lots of it. It doesn't have to kill everything by itself while you just stand around and watch. It allows you to do everything you would normally do to kill things while it's active. It doesn't have to kill unique Pan lords in one or two casts.

The spell power debuff while it's active is good, but even with it casting while Tornado is up is completely viable (and I think it should stay that way, it makes Tornado unique). Halved spellpower (before diminishing returns) is really not that bad, but bad enough to consider going into melee instead of casting.

In my opinion try halving Tornado damage. If it still kills everything in extended endgame by itself, halve it again. If people stop using it they just don't know how to use it properly.

It's fine having Tornado only solve all your problems in a 3-rune game and being an extremely strong support spell (quickly kills summoned 1s and other popcorn without having to waste turns on Abjuration, and does damage equivalent to two or three storm spells at the cost of only one over it's whole duration) in extended endgame. This makes it unique and interesting in my opinion. People who want to just kill everything by spamming one spell can still go for Firestorm. Tornado is currently like a free Firestorm every two turns, castable way before Firestorm. That is ridiculous.

Dungeon Master

Posts: 3618

Joined: Thursday, 23rd December 2010, 12:43

Post Thursday, 19th May 2011, 16:10

Re: Tornado

I have discussed making Tornado Air/Tloc with Adam once. This could be thematically supported and would boost Tloc. One warning issued in ##crawl-dev was that currently there is no synergy between Air and Tloc, but I don't know if that is so bad (it would mean a unique investment to get the spell going) and/or it could be used as an excuse to invent more synergy there.

As far as I understand it, some nerf is necessary. Air/Conj would be the "standard" one but it leaves some bad taste. Hence the thinking about a different school. There are other ways to nerf, but they will be more complicated. Regarding Level 10, I am afraid of power creep.

Dungeon Master

Posts: 1610

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 21:54

Post Thursday, 19th May 2011, 16:17

Re: Tornado

I'd quite like to nerf both storm spells by increasing the portion of their damage which is resistible. Then Tornado's damage could be reduced without making it immediately inferior to the storms again. Ziggurats (and Pan, and Hells, and Tomb, and Zot:5), supposedly the most dangerous places in the game, are just trivially easy (and really quite boring to me) with Tornado, and making it harder to cast (by making it dual-school or increasing the level) doesn't change that one bit.

Compare with Shatter which I'd say is actually fairly well balanced for a level 9 single-school spell: it's by no means impossible to cast in a 3-rune game, absolutely destroys monsters that are vulnerable to it anywhere in LOS, but also has a significant weakness in that you need another way to kill dangerous flying monsters. Unfortunately that does mean it's not great in the extended endgame, where most (but not all! killing Cerebov from behind a wall with Shatter works nicely, as does blasting through Tomb with miscast protection) of the dangerous monsters fly, but that seems fine to me.

Clearly Tornado isn't intended to have this kind of downside of being ineffective against certain monsters. It's just constant, irresistible damage-over-time to absolutely everything - and as such it really shouldn't be outputting enough damage to let you walk straight from the entrance of a Zig:27 floor to the exit without stopping and without using up even half your MP.

Short version: Making it harder to cast ultimately won't fix the spell, damage reduction sounds good to me unless it gets some other significant downside, and it'd be good to also nerf the storm spells a bit in the process.

For this message the author Kate has received thanks: 2
galehar, joellercoaster

Dungeon Master

Posts: 3618

Joined: Thursday, 23rd December 2010, 12:43

Post Thursday, 19th May 2011, 16:24

Re: Tornado

MarvinPA: I absolutely trust you in that regard. If you have specific ideas how to reduce the damage for Tornado and how much to decrease the irresistable component for the storms, go ahead.
My point was about early access: I may have misunderstood but I thought one problem with Tornado was that you could get it castable so early. Dual-schooling would help with that (but may be no concern after reducing the damage, of course).
User avatar

Tartarus Sorceror

Posts: 1850

Joined: Monday, 20th December 2010, 04:22

Location: Surabaya, Indonesia

Post Thursday, 19th May 2011, 16:40

Re: Tornado

How about making Tornado move creatures around (except heavy ones like golems, maybe) and damage them only a little (compared to storm spells)? Moved creatures can't attack, and may also be confused.

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1567

Joined: Friday, 21st January 2011, 22:56

Post Thursday, 19th May 2011, 17:00

Re: Tornado

It's not like people can cast it in Lair. More like rune branch ends or elf:5, and that's with significant focus on air magic. And air alone wont take you through the game, you will need at least some conjurations and charms. Even with strongly reduced damage it will kill almost anything in a 3-rune branch end in one cast. Just not in 2-3 turns like it does now. Which is okay for a level 9 spell in my opinion. Shatter is another offensive single school level 9 spell. I haven't tried Shatter, but I assume it completely annihilates most branch ends (it goes through walls after all).

A big part of the early access is that you only have to cast it once, then you have it running for a fairly long duration, doing more damage than other spells per cast. I believe this is interesting enough to keep, but the damage shouldn't be nearly as high as it currently is. Compared to other offensive spells that you have to spam this means fewer miscasts, less mana consumption, and less hunger. Unlike other attack spells you can use it as your main offense at 50% success or even earlier. Reducing the duration would help with that, but I would rather see damage reduced instead. Tornado being unique is good, and in my opinion doing damage over a long duration in a large AOE is the most interesting among the things that make Tornado unique (other things are for example: works 100% against all relevant enemies, aoe centered on caster without affecting all of LOS, biggest damage per cast in the game by far. These are all relevant to gameplay, but not as interesting IMO).

One possible nerf would be making the Tornado lag behind the player when moving (something like half normal movement speed), making it harder to annihilate the whole branch end/zig floor with it by running or blinking around with a huge death zone around you. If this needs to be taken further Tornado could also damage the player (probably not full damage) when he's not in the center.

Regardless of what else happens I think damage should be nerfed.
User avatar

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 5832

Joined: Thursday, 10th February 2011, 18:30

Post Thursday, 19th May 2011, 17:35

Re: Tornado

Tornado: Air/Summoning
"Be aware that a lot of people on this forum, such as mageykun and XuaXua, have a habit of making things up." - minmay a.k.a. duvessa
Did I make a lame complaint? Check for Bingo!
Totally gracious CSDC Season 2 Division 4 Champeen!

Abyss Ambulator

Posts: 1221

Joined: Thursday, 10th March 2011, 19:45

Post Thursday, 19th May 2011, 17:39

Re: Tornado

If you want to make it 2 schools what about Charms/Air? It has a kind of similar effect to Ring of Flames, (only better,) which is Charms/Fire - though I guess this will face the usual criticism that charms is already overpowered (and has good synergy with air.)

I'm not entirely up to scratch with the thinking behind what went where in the enchantments split - but would it fit at all with the philosophy of the school to make both these spells hexes?

Aside from the obvious option of reducing the damage, how about making the tornado not move once cast, so if you walk around you will take damage. Alternatively, moving could cause the effect to end prematurely, so you can use it to kill monsters that are already near to you but can't run around the whole dungeon killing everything.
User avatar

Snake Sneak

Posts: 105

Joined: Sunday, 19th December 2010, 19:28

Location: UK

Post Thursday, 19th May 2011, 17:54

Re: Tornado

I agree with pratamawirya, that the tornado should move enemies, but as well as moving the enemies either clockwise (or counter?) it should also move them closer to the centre of the storm. I disagree about the confusing them/making them unable to attack though, as that would further buff the spell.

I also like XuaXua's suggestion of Air/Summoning. I saw a game where tornado was being cast inside Tomb and I thought the flavour of that didn't seem quite right... requiring skill in summoning would fix that though.

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 3037

Joined: Sunday, 2nd January 2011, 02:06

Post Thursday, 19th May 2011, 18:16

Re: Tornado

With all due respect to kilobyte, I don't think he has a clear and unbiased perspective here. Tornado is not remotely appropriately balanced, and it would still be incredibly powerful even with substantial reductions across the board. There's no drawback to simply leaving it running, save the possibility of eventually running out of enemies to kill with it, and there's no tactical situation where it won't be useful. It's still incredibly damaging even in a 2-tile wide hallway. You can freely maneuver while using it, fight in melee with full power if you're a hybrid, and can still snipe key threats with your spells even though they have a modest power reduction.

If it's going to continue being considered a Fire/Ice Storm equivalent, why not give it some analogous drawbacks? Those spells create zones on the map where the player can no longer enter without taking some substantial damage, which reduces the number of options available if something inconvenient comes up. Perhaps the player could be immobile while the Tornado continues, either willingly because the tile they cast from is the only non-damaging tile nearby, or unwillingly because the Tornado ends if they don't keep casting it.

Or perhaps that modest casting penalty while you have Tornado up needs to get a whole lot worse. Spell power isn't all that critical when everything is absolutely wilting around you already, and defensive spells like Haste, Blink, and Deflect Missiles still need to be refreshed during the killing, so perhaps it would be a more meaningful penalty if you simply couldn't cast spells at all while maintaining your Tornado.

Or how about having it cause self-damage no matter what? It's a theme shared with most other air spells, since often to get the best multi-zaps with Shock and Lightning Bolt you have to be willing to let it arc through yourself a time or two, and Static Discharge and Chain Lightning are also notorious sources of uncontrollable self-damage. Occupying the eye deals less damage, but you're still going to be nailed by flying debris.

Galefury wrote:It's not like people can cast it in Lair.


If you play a kenku air elementalist, you absolutely can have Tornado practical by the time you've cleared Orc 4, Lair 8, and located the entry to Vaults. You just need a modest amount of luck with books. I've done it with early access to the Book of the Sky, which allowed me to use Air Strike instead of Lightning Bolt. That same character found Tempests on Orc 4, and could cast Tornado at excellent by stacking Vehumet wizardry with one ring of wizardry. It made Swamp much less tedious, let me tell you.

Galefury wrote:And air alone wont take you through the game, you will need at least some conjurations and charms.


There is no need to train conjurations beyond the early game, and everybody trains charms even if they don't have any synergy with their main combat damage skill.

Galefury wrote:Shatter is another offensive single school level 9 spell. I haven't tried Shatter, but I assume it completely annihilates most branch ends (it goes through walls after all).


It does, but you have to cast it multiple times. Which is probably how it should be.
User avatar

Dungeon Master

Posts: 4031

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 20:37

Location: France

Post Thursday, 19th May 2011, 23:43

Re: Tornado

MarvinPA wrote:Short version: Making it harder to cast ultimately won't fix the spell, damage reduction sounds good to me unless it gets some other significant downside, and it'd be good to also nerf the storm spells a bit in the process.

Thanks Marvin, that sounds great. I'd like it to be more effective against flying monsters. Instead of just better damage, why not slow their movement if the fly toward the center? Many of the endgame monsters have ranged attacks anyway, so it won't be a big buff. Woud be useful against the few ones that don't.
<+Grunt> You dereference an invalid pointer! Ouch! That really hurt! The game dies...
User avatar

Dungeon Master

Posts: 4031

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 20:37

Location: France

Post Friday, 20th May 2011, 07:27

Re: Tornado

minmay wrote:
galehar wrote:I'd like it to be more effective against flying monsters.

Tornado turns all monsters into flying monsters, does it not? (Well, levitating monsters, but I don't see that making a difference here.)

Good point. Anyway, slow movement, similar to Leda's (except it only slows movements toward the center) can be an interesting side effect.
<+Grunt> You dereference an invalid pointer! Ouch! That really hurt! The game dies...
User avatar

Snake Sneak

Posts: 128

Joined: Friday, 13th May 2011, 12:06

Post Friday, 20th May 2011, 12:31

Re: Tornado

Thematic nerfs (from a newbie who hasn't even seen the spell)

What about if you move/attack/cast you stand a chance to lose control. If you lose control then the spell continues for a time, but will move randomly and will damage you.

What about if it takes some time to build up, and has some maintainance cost to keep it going (e.g. 1MP per turn)
A troll caster is a hybrid

Snake Sneak

Posts: 123

Joined: Monday, 3rd January 2011, 14:47

Post Friday, 20th May 2011, 16:43

Re: Tornado

A simple nerf is to not allow casting the spell if it is already active, on subsequent turns the damage is drastically reduced but recasting it refreshes the high damage of the first turn. I find that the biggest problem is that you can cast it every few turns dealing massive damage in a short amount of time, this nerf will also encourage players to cast other spells until tornado can be reactivated as now the best action a player can take is recasting tornado. Another advantage of this nerf is that the risk of casting tornado is increased as tornado has a tendency to wake the whole level and being unable to kill the reinforcments quickly can be quite deadly.

I disagree that the spell carries little risk, I've found fire storm and ice storm much safer to use than tornado in certain situations, the problem with tornado is that it takes a few turns to close in on enemies making it weaker versus casters strongest threats: archers and casters. Part of the beauty is that because of its seemingly ungodly power players become reckless and die, . (I've lost so many chracters the minute I got Tornado and these were characters that were designed as hybrid melee casters.)

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 3037

Joined: Sunday, 2nd January 2011, 02:06

Post Friday, 20th May 2011, 19:44

Re: Tornado

tazoz wrote:the problem with tornado is that it takes a few turns to close in on enemies making it weaker versus casters strongest threats: archers and casters.


Shouldn't be a problem. Blink, and the whole freaking Tornado blinks with you. Keeping Control Teleport up, either by spell or by ring, is probably a good idea in any moderately challenging fight regardless of whether you're using Tornado.

Snake Sneak

Posts: 123

Joined: Monday, 3rd January 2011, 14:47

Post Friday, 20th May 2011, 20:11

Re: Tornado

Kobold, the enemy still gets one free shot on you if you cast tornado before blinking and semi controlled blink can be dangerous because you wake up more creatures by blinking into unexplored territories and the blink can land you too close to the threats giving them a turn or two to attack you before they die.(not to mention corridors which complicate matters further.) On the other hand semi controlled blink is a great way to escape situations before they become dangerous but this strategy is relevant to pretty much every spell in the game. (I agree that by playing well the chances that you will die aren't really big even when you use risky spells such as Tornado and believe me it's not a safe spell to use, I've tested it enough to know, the mechanics of the spell encourage the player to play recklessly as one battle draws more enemies forcing you to go deeper into the level to deal with them or to run which isn't always safe.)
Compare this with firestorm, you encounter a threat, you storm him at a safe distance or blink to a safe distance -and the threat is nullified, additionally dealing some extra damage to reinforcements.

The point is that the storm spells encourage the player to keep a safe distance from the enemies, tornado encourages the player to get close to the enemy which is definatly not the safest way to play casters.

I also wanted to add that trying to take on vaults 8 or elf 5 with tornado is a great way to die. Try killing the vault guards with tornado, the entire level wakes up, if you go up you will have to deal with around 30 creatures at close proximity when you come back down, if you stay and fight you will have multiple dangerous archers that attack you from a distance from all directions, it doesn't help that enemies are bright enough to hide in corridors protecting them from the broken spell. If for example you use poisonous cloud instead, all you need to do is blink to the left once or twice and cover the floor with clouds all the guards and giants/yakataurs that follow will die. (this strategy can also be used with tornado but it's still risky as you need to stand close to the enemy to deal damage and every enemy you kill will be replaced by two because of the noise.)
Last edited by tazoz on Friday, 20th May 2011, 20:47, edited 1 time in total.

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 3037

Joined: Sunday, 2nd January 2011, 02:06

Post Friday, 20th May 2011, 20:46

Re: Tornado

tazoz wrote:Kobold, the enemy still gets one free shot on you if you cast tornado before blinking


They can shoot you if you're casting Fire Storm, too. If you're waiting until they're in melee before you cast Tornado, then perhaps your spell choice is not the problem.

tazoz wrote:and semi controlled blink can be dangerous because you wake up more creatures by blinking into unexplored territories and the blink can land you too close to the threats giving them a turn or two to attack you before they die.


The arrow keys let you move so they can't hit you any more. Tornado will continue to damage them while you avoid melee. Have you ever tried using Fire Storm on something hitting you in melee? It's actually a pretty bad idea.

tazoz wrote:believe me it's not a safe spell to use, I've tested it enough to know, the mechanics of the spell encourage the player to play recklessly as one battle draws more enemies forcing you to go deeper into the level to deal with them or to run which isn't always safe.)


I think this is just you. The kill zone is nearly as large as the LOS, so there's no reason you need to be charging randomly into unknown territory. Torment and Hellfire can hit you just fine whether you're 6 tiles away or 8, while Crystal Spear and melee attacks won't reach.

tazoz wrote:Compare this with firestorm, you encounter a threat, you storm him at a safe distance or blink to a safe distance -and the threat is nullified, additionally dealing some extra damage to reinforcements.


You can totally do this with Tornado, too. In fact, you can do it better because you can spend actions staying at range without reducing damage output.

tazoz wrote:The point is that the storm spells encourage the player to keep a safe distance from the enemies, tornado encourages the player to get close to the enemy which is definatly not the safest way to play casters.


Six tiles is not close.

tazoz wrote:I also wanted to add that trying to take on vaults 8 or elf 5 with tornado will lead to your death which is a strong indication that the spell is problematic. Try killing the vault guards with tornado, the entire level wakes up, if you go up you will have to deal with around 30 creatures at close proximity when you come back down,


All four 9th-level spells have this weakness, and the most significant drawback of this approach is the fact that some of the loot will be eaten by the glowing shapeshifters. Vault 8 dies easily enough if you've ground up a 9th-level attack spell.

If you want to kill everything silently, so the glowing shapeshifters destroy less of your loot, then air does have Poisonous and Freezing Clouds to work with. Ice has Ozocubu's Refrigeration instead of Poisonous Cloud, while fire and earth have jack squat.

Snake Sneak

Posts: 123

Joined: Monday, 3rd January 2011, 14:47

Post Friday, 20th May 2011, 20:58

Re: Tornado

Kobold you are right. :)

I have to admit that I've lost the argument, my statements are based on my reckless hectic style of play, I don't really play the game as a turn based game, instead I give myself limited time to react to every situation and if I die, I die, I assumed the most players enjoy playing in such a way.

On the other hand when playing in such a way, Tornado is so fun and addictive. :D
User avatar

Swamp Slogger

Posts: 153

Joined: Sunday, 23rd January 2011, 20:04

Post Sunday, 22nd May 2011, 07:45

Re: Tornado

I don't know if this has already been suggested, but you could simply change the name of the spell to Microburst and have the damage effects of the spell come mostly just the initial cast.
(say 80%-90% of the damage comes from the first turn if not all of it)
It would still cover a very large area but this way it is would become much easier to balance.

Also one way to compensate for the Huge radius of the spell would to have all the tiles next to the caster be unaffected by the spell.
Or go in the complete opposite direction and have the spell do more damage to creatures the closer they are to you.

Its also easier for me to imagine a powerful mage calling forth powerful winds to smash into the ground then Creating an entire Tornado in a cramped dungeon.
(Each floor is what 10-20 feet tall? Still not much vertical room for a tornado, then again Shoals has always been a more confusing area)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microburst
User avatar

Dungeon Master

Posts: 4031

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 20:37

Location: France

Post Sunday, 22nd May 2011, 08:57

Re: Tornado

omndra wrote:Creating an entire Tornado in a cramped dungeon.

It is much less effective in cramped space. I don't there's any need to change the general mechanism of the spell. It's unique and pretty good.
<+Grunt> You dereference an invalid pointer! Ouch! That really hurt! The game dies...
User avatar

Tartarus Sorceror

Posts: 1850

Joined: Monday, 20th December 2010, 04:22

Location: Surabaya, Indonesia

Post Sunday, 22nd May 2011, 13:13

Re: Tornado

I would like to see Tornado having some realistic effects, like sucking creatures and moving them around. I think it would fit the general theme of Air Magic: somewhat tricky and technical. Or would it be hard to code?
User avatar

Swamp Slogger

Posts: 153

Joined: Sunday, 23rd January 2011, 20:04

Post Sunday, 22nd May 2011, 17:35

Re: Tornado

It could still be really unique and really good with what i had suggested, and if the spell doesn't have some sort of big change applied then its still going to be overpowered.
However I do have some ideas on how it could still work without changing the mechanics, but ONLY if the most of the damage coming from the initial casting.

For example
*Cast Tornado* 70, 20, 5, *Recasts Tornado* 70, 20, 5, 5, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3 -Tornado ends-
Versus the current
*Cast Tornado* 25, 25, 25, 25, 25 -Tornado ends- *Recast Tornado*

By getting out most of the damage in the first few turns it encourages players to begin Recasting the spell when it looses power.
If you spread out all of the damage equally then Players are encouraged NOT to recast the spell until its duration is over so as to not "waste" any of the previous spell.
Then because players will need to cast the spell more often they will begin to feel more pressed for mana, like they should be when spamming level 9 spells.
This should be visualized by having dark thunderous clouds show up on the first turn then they change to lighter and lighter clouds until the spell is over.

Its still going to be superior to the Storm spells because of its huge radius and thats why i'd also recommend creating an "eye of the storm" where all tiles around the player are unaffected by the spell. This would negate the "Free hits in melee" effect that tornado has. It would also help pull it down to Stormspell levels as those spells are extremely risky to use on monsters in close proximity.

EDIT: With the changes i have suggested it would make the entire duration of the spell rather useless, SO in order to make the duration of the spell more useful it could be changed to an air magic enhancer.

*and like i had said before when thinking about the dungeon vertically Shoals is a harder area to understand, apparently in Crawl each set of stairs stairs go down about 500 feet XD
User avatar

Dungeon Master

Posts: 4031

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 20:37

Location: France

Post Sunday, 22nd May 2011, 19:25

Re: Tornado

omndra wrote:if the spell doesn't have some sort of big change applied then its still going to be overpowered.

Why? I think the damage over time is what makes it different from the other spells, I don't want to change it. Balanced properly, it can be the drawback of the spell instead of its advantage.
<+Grunt> You dereference an invalid pointer! Ouch! That really hurt! The game dies...

Lair Larrikin

Posts: 27

Joined: Monday, 23rd May 2011, 02:56

Post Monday, 23rd May 2011, 03:48

Re: Tornado

I've played around with the spell quite a bit and I'll try to communicate my thoughts in ideas on the spell based on what I've seen.

For the post endgame, I would not walk into Pan or Hell without it. My current personal school of thought is to start a X Elementalist and splash air hard as soon as I can cast firestorm or icestorm, creating a character that has a ranged mass murder spell and Tornado. If I ever get to this point, the game is effectively won and unless I'm walking around with the worlds worst gear; most of what remains is trivial.

A few thoughts on the design: Unlike the Firestorm or Icestorm counterpart, there is no risk in using it and it''s condition of requiring you to be in an 'open' space isn't much of a condition at all. It's actually still really effective even in a hall way that's 2 by X. Compare to Icestorm which can't be cast in melee range and can require some interesting positioning just to drop it where you want to. Firestorm and shatter are both pretty easy to use, the former only threating self-damage to a careless user. Were it to move into the Conjuration school as well, I honestly think it'd be a buff, maybe because I generally have conjuration anyway, but highlevel conjuration seems really commonplace where air is not. I think most people would find it easier to cast in that regard.

If I may point out the obvious, the problem is the overall damage vs cost of the spell. Directly, this could be fixed by lowering damage per tick of Tornado or reducing duration. Duration reduction would be pretty worthless though because you can just recast it and finding the mana for it isn't too difficult in most scenarios. Nerfing the damage straight up would probably put it closer to the realm of 'balanced', but I think there are more elegant solutions to explore.

I think the true problem with Tornado lies in it's relative ease of use and it's efficiency. For 9MP, you can do a huge chunk of damage and the fact that it's ongoing makes it supplemental to whatever else you want to cast, which in my case, would be things like Orb of Destruction or Firestorm. I think overall, it probably is the most efficient spell in the game by a wide margin from a pure MP to damage standpoint, which could be problematic because the other level 9 spell are already really efficient creating what appears to be spell 'power creep', which as mentioned above, trivializes a large portion of the post endgame.

If I may play backseat developer, there are a few ways to 'fix' the spell to feel powerful and fun (Because it is a really fun spell and I don't think you want to lose that), but still not be the end-all-be-all spell in the game. The idea in my head right now is to modify the damage and duration of the spell based on how many other creatures are caught in it. The more creatures caught in it, the less damage it does. I think doing so would accomplish a few things, namely, it'd make the spell more interesting. Casting Firestorm or Butterflies before/while Tornado is up would have negative effects on the effectiveness of the spell. Casting and literally walking through a Pan lord and his minions wouldn't be quite as effective. Hopefully there would be at least a few more conditions placed on the spell to make it less of a one-button wonder and more of a spell you cast to meet a need. You could cast the spell to clear out 20 random minions, but the overall damage you would do would be lower, or you could cast it to do really heavy damage to a single mob if said mob was the only one in the vortex.

I really like the idea of a just Damage over time spell and I think it compliments the caster array quite nicely, but I agree with the general sentiment that it needs to be toned down in some way.

For this message the author Kautzman has received thanks:
dolphin
User avatar

Blades Runner

Posts: 575

Joined: Tuesday, 18th January 2011, 15:11

Post Monday, 23rd May 2011, 07:37

Re: Tornado

yeah, after thinking about it i'd stick to damage over time, nerf damage, and leave it at that. most proposals are gimmicky. yours (less damage the more enemies are caught in the tornado) is fine, but right now tornado encourages you to jump in and get as many enemies in LOS as possible, which i think would make for an interesting compromise if you weren't killing them all in a few turns. so i'd simply reduce damage per turn first and see where it goes. the casting penalty could be considerably greater too (on the order of blade hands).

on top of that: right now the tornado covers pretty much everything in LOS immediately. it could take four or five turns for it to grow to that point. (it should dissipate like it currently does, though, because it looks pretty cool i'd say.) it doesn't affect all scenarios, but it can be a drawback in some.
Wins: DDBe (3 runes, morgue file)
User avatar

Tartarus Sorceror

Posts: 1850

Joined: Monday, 20th December 2010, 04:22

Location: Surabaya, Indonesia

Post Monday, 23rd May 2011, 07:48

Re: Tornado

absolutego wrote:on top of that: right now the tornado covers pretty much everything in LOS immediately. it could take four or five turns for it to grow to that point. (it should dissipate like it currently does, though, because it looks pretty cool i'd say.) it doesn't affect all scenarios, but it can be a drawback in some.

I kinda like this.
User avatar

Swamp Slogger

Posts: 153

Joined: Sunday, 23rd January 2011, 20:04

Post Monday, 23rd May 2011, 16:04

Re: Tornado

galehar wrote:
omndra wrote:if the spell doesn't have some sort of big change applied then its still going to be overpowered.

Why? I think the damage over time is what makes it different from the other spells, I don't want to change it. Balanced properly, it can be the drawback of the spell instead of its advantage.


So... Is that all you read of my proposal, or did you just think that my idea would be too much of a change?
User avatar

Dungeon Master

Posts: 4031

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 20:37

Location: France

Post Monday, 23rd May 2011, 16:50

Re: Tornado

omndra wrote:So... Is that all you read of my proposal, or did you just think that my idea would be too much of a change?

You mean no damage to surrounding cells? I'm not sure about this. At least, it would make the visual effect uglier. I don't know if it would really help with the balance.
Appart from that, you only suggested to move most of the damage to the first turn, or did I miss anything?
<+Grunt> You dereference an invalid pointer! Ouch! That really hurt! The game dies...
User avatar

Swamp Slogger

Posts: 153

Joined: Sunday, 23rd January 2011, 20:04

Post Monday, 23rd May 2011, 17:15

Re: Tornado

Nope that was it.
Thank you, and yeah it probably would have an unpleasant visual effect overall

Without changing around how damage is placed out, how about making the damage resistible in some way?
The easiest way to do this would be to brand it with electricity.
User avatar

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 5832

Joined: Thursday, 10th February 2011, 18:30

Post Monday, 23rd May 2011, 17:34

Re: Tornado

I've never been able to cast Tornado, and I am not certain what it does, so I cannot properly contribute to this conversation.

I asked the Bot and received this:
Awesome L9 air spell in 0.8. Surrounds you with a radius 5 tornado which follows your movement, and lifts you into the air (flight). Deals huge damage over a few turns but decreases in power in enclosed spaces. Found in the book of Clouds and the book of Tempests.

If it is consistent damage for all squares and we are looking for some form of nerf, what would be wrong with maintaining existing damage centrally and reducing the amount of damage by a percentage for each square distant from the center?
"Be aware that a lot of people on this forum, such as mageykun and XuaXua, have a habit of making things up." - minmay a.k.a. duvessa
Did I make a lame complaint? Check for Bingo!
Totally gracious CSDC Season 2 Division 4 Champeen!
User avatar

Swamp Slogger

Posts: 153

Joined: Sunday, 23rd January 2011, 20:04

Post Monday, 23rd May 2011, 18:05

Re: Tornado

XuaXua wrote:I've never been able to cast Tornado, and I am not certain what it does, so I cannot properly contribute to this conversation.

I asked the Bot and received this:
Awesome L9 air spell in 0.8. Surrounds you with a radius 5 tornado which follows your movement, and lifts you into the air (flight). Deals huge damage over a few turns but decreases in power in enclosed spaces. Found in the book of Clouds and the book of Tempests.

If it is consistent damage for all squares and we are looking for some form of nerf, what would be wrong with maintaining existing damage centrally and reducing the amount of damage by a percentage for each square distant from the center?


I think that could work, and it makes sense (winds die down as you are further away) but then it would become the Ultimate Melee assist spell, but i see nothing wrong with that.
Tornado + Haste + Bladehands + Berserk + Rings of Slaying + Cheibrodous = WOLVERINE!! (kinda)
User avatar

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 5832

Joined: Thursday, 10th February 2011, 18:30

Post Monday, 23rd May 2011, 18:52

Re: Tornado

omndra wrote:... then it would become the Ultimate Melee assist spell, but i see nothing wrong with that.


Based on the spell description I read, isn't it already the Ultimate Melee assist spell, except it also helps an additional 4-square radius?
"Be aware that a lot of people on this forum, such as mageykun and XuaXua, have a habit of making things up." - minmay a.k.a. duvessa
Did I make a lame complaint? Check for Bingo!
Totally gracious CSDC Season 2 Division 4 Champeen!

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1567

Joined: Friday, 21st January 2011, 22:56

Post Monday, 23rd May 2011, 20:21

Re: Tornado

Actually it's just the ultimate damage spell, period. The situations where anything else in the game will do better as your main source of damage are incredibly rare. Cast Tornado and everything around you dies. Fast. You can still melee and cast, but you don't need to. You can just stand there, zapping a wand of healing if something does somehow manage to damage you. Or blink around to get the most enemies covered with your halo of death.

Lowering damage with distance would probably help with that. I don't think I would prefer that over just an overall damage nerf because the large AOE is nice and in my opinion should be kept.
User avatar

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 5832

Joined: Thursday, 10th February 2011, 18:30

Post Monday, 23rd May 2011, 22:21

Re: Tornado

Galefury wrote:Lowering damage with distance would probably help with that. I don't think I would prefer that over just an overall damage nerf because the large AOE is nice and in my opinion should be kept.


So you'd prefer a large, consistent area of effect then with an overall damage nerf?
"Be aware that a lot of people on this forum, such as mageykun and XuaXua, have a habit of making things up." - minmay a.k.a. duvessa
Did I make a lame complaint? Check for Bingo!
Totally gracious CSDC Season 2 Division 4 Champeen!
User avatar

Dungeon Master

Posts: 4031

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 20:37

Location: France

Post Tuesday, 24th May 2011, 08:35

Re: Tornado

XuaXua wrote:So you'd prefer a large, consistent area of effect then with an overall damage nerf?

Yes, me too. Let's keep it simple for now and keep the main features of the spell: irresistible damage over time with a large radius. And do what MarvinPA suggested: nerf the damage of tornado, and increase the resistible part of storm spells.
<+Grunt> You dereference an invalid pointer! Ouch! That really hurt! The game dies...

Blades Runner

Posts: 554

Joined: Tuesday, 25th January 2011, 14:24

Post Wednesday, 25th May 2011, 02:36

Re: Tornado

What about making it non-castable/having it prevent travel into corridors less than 3 squares wide? (the buffeting winds prevent further motion in that direction...)

This would mean that you'd need to tactically draw your opponents into rooms in order to engage them.

Caveat: I'll be happy if I ever get to the point where I can cast it :roll:

Vaults Vanquisher

Posts: 447

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 22:10

Post Wednesday, 25th May 2011, 02:57

Re: Tornado

To my understanding, it's already fairly weak in those situations; the primary overpowered use case is in open areas with lots of monsters around (notable instance: ziggurats)

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 3037

Joined: Sunday, 2nd January 2011, 02:06

Post Wednesday, 25th May 2011, 03:30

Re: Tornado

MrMisterMonkey wrote:To my understanding, it's already fairly weak in those situations; the primary overpowered use case is in open areas with lots of monsters around (notable instance: ziggurats)


A 2-tile wide corridor is currently plenty of room to use it. If it deals less damage, it's not so much less that I even notice the difference. Absolutely everything gets mulched once I get it in the death radius. In the absolute tightest conditions possible, you simply need to stay in melee.

Even leaving that aside, Zot, Pan, Slime, Cocytus, and Tartarus are made up almost entirely of open space. Gehenna 1-6 and Dis 1-6 have a lot of open space, and there are some open spaces to work with in Gehenna 7, Dis 7, and Tomb if you like.

Vaults Vanquisher

Posts: 447

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 22:10

Post Wednesday, 25th May 2011, 07:12

Re: Tornado

Well then that downside needs to be more noticeable, too.
(but the point was that just making that less powerful won't fix the worst case, or even the typical case)

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1567

Joined: Friday, 21st January 2011, 22:56

Post Wednesday, 25th May 2011, 08:07

Re: Tornado

The long range (compared to corridor size) damage reduction is already quite severe in cramped spaces. Range is effectively reduced. If damage is nerfed so Tornado doesn't kill most things in 1-3 turns I think this is enough of a downside (for closed spaces anyway).

I think delaying Tornado movement (or even making it not move at all like someone else suggested) would help a lot towards reducing overpoweredness in open spaces if needed. But I think it would be best to first nerf damage, then consider further steps if that's not enough or doesn't play well. This can be done right now, other things will require more effort.
User avatar

Dungeon Master

Posts: 4031

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 20:37

Location: France

Post Wednesday, 25th May 2011, 11:05

Re: Tornado

I've looked at the numbers. At a power of 120 in an open space, tornado deals 6d(120)/10 damage per turn for 6 turns. It's irresistible and ignores AC. Average is 36.3 per turn for a total of 217.8. At each distance, power is proportionate to the number of affected cells compared to the total number of cells at this distance. In a 2 tiles corridor (full length on both side), power is 75 at distance 1 (22.8/turn, total 136.8) and 36 at distance 5 (11.1/turn, total 66.6).

Fire storm at power 120 deals 8d15 damage (average 64.5), 35% of which is resistible and it takes AC into account. The fire clouds damage is random2avg(16, 3) + 6. Average 13.5 (resistible and AC).

So here's what I suggest:
* Don't ignore AC. If armour protects against cloud damage, it should also protect against tornado.
* Half the damage. It will still deal twice as much damage as fire storm over the 6 turns.
<+Grunt> You dereference an invalid pointer! Ouch! That really hurt! The game dies...

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1567

Joined: Friday, 21st January 2011, 22:56

Post Wednesday, 25th May 2011, 11:26

Re: Tornado

I do like that Tornado is unique in being completely irresistible (other than by being made of air), but this is also not very interesting, so checking AC sounds cool. Checking AC would mean checking AC every turn however, on something that does only something like 20 average damage per turn after the reduction (at pretty realistic power). For comparison, Cerebov has 30 AC, fiends have 15-17, orbs of fire and ancient liches have 20, greater mummies and most non-fiend 1s have 10, most jellies have low AC, and average damage reduction from AC is AC/2. That means usually most damage will go through, but some enemies can greatly reduce Tornado damage.

This is quite a severe nerf, just what's needed. No harm in trying it I guess. If this is too much, only half of the damage reduction from AC could be applied. If the irresistibility should be kept, damage could be reduced further instead of checking AC.
User avatar

Dungeon Master

Posts: 4031

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 20:37

Location: France

Post Wednesday, 25th May 2011, 11:39

Re: Tornado

Right, doing both is too much. Take AC into account and reduce base damage by 20%. New formula is 6d(power)/12. Average damage per turn is 30 (20 against AC20), damage over 6 turns is 180 (120 against AC20).
<+Grunt> You dereference an invalid pointer! Ouch! That really hurt! The game dies...

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1567

Joined: Friday, 21st January 2011, 22:56

Post Wednesday, 25th May 2011, 11:53

Re: Tornado

Note on implementation: the damage scaling to turn length should be done after AC reduction to avoid long turns being better than fast ones.
Next

Return to Game Design Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by ST Software for PTF.