Proposal: Make Sif's Channel Energy based on Spellcasting


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Post Saturday, 10th October 2015, 07:37

Proposal: Make Sif's Channel Energy based on Spellcasting

See title.

Benefits:

  • Sif no longer offers conflicting incentives of "gain piety by skilling casting skills" and "make my only active useful by skilling Invo."
  • Further emphasizes Sif's role as a generalist spellcasting god by focusing on the generalist spellcasting skill (much like Nemelex focuses on Evocations)
  • Actually gives Sif relevant benefits early-midgame.

Potential negatives:

  • Potentially hurts low spellcasting, high Invo primary casters, such as Orcs. Somewhat of a niche case, and making the magic god weaker for magic dabblers doesn't seem like a huge loss.
  • Mana regen may be too reliable early game. The formula could be tweaked downward somewhat at lower skill to compensate.
  • God abilities should use Invocations: Kiku uses Necro, Nemelex uses evo, and many gods are piety based. Letting Sif use spellcasting is a neat flavor change.
  • This encourages overskilling spellcasting: Sif already encourages overskilling magic skills. It's a feature!

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Post Saturday, 10th October 2015, 07:46

Re: Proposal: Make Sif's Channel Energy based on Spellcastin

Closely related: if invocations aren't going to use the invocations skill (and that seems to be the direction Crawl is going) then the invocations skill just shouldn't exist.

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Post Saturday, 10th October 2015, 07:53

Re: Proposal: Make Sif's Channel Energy based on Spellcastin

duvessa wrote:Closely related: if invocations aren't going to use the invocations skill (and that seems to be the direction Crawl is going) then the invocations skill just shouldn't exist.


Invocations seems to be used primarily for god abilities that directly affect combat and don't come from a god with very strong thematic ties to a skill/concept. I think it's still relevant even if it isn't used for every god. I guess Jiyva is a bit weird, but the slime abilities don't really have any effective way to scale with invocations.

I think it's reasonable for the spellcasting gods to passively boost your spellcasting ability or offer active abilities based on spellcasting, while leaving Invocations for the "this is basically your version of Shatter" ability.
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Post Saturday, 10th October 2015, 14:03

Re: Proposal: Make Sif's Channel Energy based on Spellcastin

duvessa wrote:Closely related: if invocations aren't going to use the invocations skill (and that seems to be the direction Crawl is going) then the invocations skill just shouldn't exist.

+1 on this. Invocations skill should either be the way your god abilities gain success and power, or it shouldn't. This "well, you normally improve your invocations with the Invocations skill, except for these gods with really powerful invocations where you don't" thing is weird.

Yes, a lot of gods would need rebalancing without invocations. This isn't the thread for that discussion, though.

So, while I think the OP's idea is good, I wouldn't really like to see it in current Crawl unless it's part of a wider invocations revamp.
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Post Saturday, 10th October 2015, 16:01

Re: Proposal: Make Sif's Channel Energy based on Spellcastin

Invocations alternatives:

Beogh: Use XL. Only matters for smite damage.

Chei: Current affects the success rate of his four activated abilities, and the power of Bend Time. The formulas should be re-done to base success rate on piety, and base power on a combination of piety and XL (mostly XL).

Dith: I think it only affects Shadow Form success rate and duration. Use Stealth skill, but possibly redo formulas to account for the fact that Dith followers typically have heavy investment in Stealth anyway.

Ely: Use XL. Affects the power of your healing and pacification abilities. Possible nerf to the high end, to make up for the fact that XL is free but 20+ Invocations skill was very expensive.

Fedhas: According to badwiki, Invocations affects success rate and power of your abilities. Use (XL+3)/2.

etc
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Post Saturday, 10th October 2015, 20:05

Re: Proposal: Make Sif's Channel Energy based on Spellcastin

Counter proposal: make all god abilities dependent on Invocations.
...MiAK}TeAMDrIE{FoVMVSFi}{MuVMGhGlVpMo}HaWrSpWz{OgGlTrMo}{CeWnMfBeMiSk}DrEE{GrFiFoGl}
DgEnFeNe{OpGlHuSu}DDArHaCKSpAEGrTmDgFEDsCjGhMoHuVM{HaAMBaEn}{HuMoHOWn}DsWzDDHu
{DgWnGnBe}FeIE{MiEnMfCj}SpNeBaEEGrFE{HaAKTrCK}DsFESpHu{FoArNaBe}FeEE{HOIEMiAE}GrGlHuWr

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Post Sunday, 11th October 2015, 01:59

Re: Proposal: Make Sif's Channel Energy based on Spellcastin

Sprucery wrote:Counter proposal: make all god abilities dependent on Invocations.


Nemelex, passive gods, Ru, and Gozag would be pretty interesting at that point.

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Post Sunday, 11th October 2015, 11:16

Re: Proposal: Make Sif's Channel Energy based on Spellcastin

milski wrote:Nemelex, passive gods, Ru, and Gozag would be pretty interesting at that point.


Invocation skill is just a trade: you give away experience you could put in any other skill for better god abilities.
Amongst gods you named only Nemelex sorta contradicts this notion, because his powers implemented thru cards which scale with Evo and decision to check it instead of Invo for ability success is quite synergic (don't think there any other scaling of his abilities, given their deck-related mechanics). Given Evo is "secondary" skill (not like weapon ones or spell schools) it's ok to spare it competition with other secondary skill.
What would be fun is a God who uses piety like a fighting game style super meter. Piety decays rapidly outside of combat, builds up during fights, spend it for secret techniques and super moves.

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Post Monday, 12th October 2015, 14:47

Re: Proposal: Make Sif's Channel Energy based on Spellcastin

I think having some gods use Invo for powers and others not is a good thing -- as WildSam says, it's a way of adjusting god power by determining whether the god requires you to spend extra XP to make use of their abilities. It also can be used thematically -- does your god have abilities that require special finesse to use? Does the god like proper form and/or obsequiousness and require you to petition them just so?

In general, I prefer that gods use Invocations rather than some other skill, and that the exceptions be carefully considered. Of the current gods, the one I'd like to change most is Trog, but I know other devs quite like how you get better BiA only if you hoard piety.

Spellcasting already effectively gives you better mana recovery, so it's a bit redundant to have it also power a mana recovery ability. You also already train Spellcasting heavily w/ Sif, so this proposal removes Sif's only meaningful tradeoff, aside from the tradeoff of choosing to worship Sif in the first place.

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Post Monday, 12th October 2015, 17:01

Re: Proposal: Make Sif's Channel Energy based on Spellcastin

milski wrote:
Sprucery wrote:Counter proposal: make all god abilities dependent on Invocations.


Nemelex, passive gods, Ru, and Gozag would be pretty interesting at that point.

Not really, it's a straightforward nerf.

Lasty wrote:Spellcasting already effectively gives you better mana recovery, so it's a bit redundant to have it also power a mana recovery ability. You also already train Spellcasting heavily w/ Sif, so this proposal removes Sif's only meaningful tradeoff, aside from the tradeoff of choosing to worship Sif in the first place.


That is a big tradeoff considering how bad Sif is.
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Post Monday, 12th October 2015, 17:08

Re: Proposal: Make Sif's Channel Energy based on Spellcastin

tabstorm wrote:That is a big tradeoff considering how bad Sif is.

Yup. But gods generally offer more interesting tradeoffs/choices than "do I worship this god or not?", IMO.

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Post Monday, 12th October 2015, 18:19

Re: Proposal: Make Sif's Channel Energy based on Spellcastin

Lasty wrote:Spellcasting already effectively gives you better mana recovery, so it's a bit redundant to have it also power a mana recovery ability.
Necromancy already gives you corpses, so it's a bit redundant to have it also power a corpse creating ability.
Evocations already gives you better decks, so it's a bit redundant to have it also power better deck abilities.

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Post Monday, 12th October 2015, 18:33

Re: Proposal: Make Sif's Channel Energy based on Spellcastin

Necromancy doesn't give you corpses. Necromancy kills monsters, and killing most types of monsters sometimes give you corpses. This is like saying "Conjurations gives you weapons" because conjurations kills monsters and many types of monsters drop weapons.

Evocations already increases deck power for all characters; under Nemelex it also improves ability success rates for some card manipulation abilities (I guess? I avoid playing Nemelex). Being able to change which cards you draw or how many you draw per action isn't particularly similar changing the power level of the cards you draw. It's certainly much less similar than "this skill passively gives you more mana regen" and "this skill lets you use an ability that gives you a burst of mana regen".

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Post Monday, 12th October 2015, 20:52

Re: Proposal: Make Sif's Channel Energy based on Spellcastin

Natural mp regeneration is too slow to really ever be relevant in the places where channeling is

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Post Tuesday, 13th October 2015, 22:28

Re: Proposal: Make Sif's Channel Energy based on Spellcastin

Personally, I would like it odd we did away with invocation, but that may just be me.
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Post Wednesday, 14th October 2015, 16:03

Re: Proposal: Make Sif's Channel Energy based on Spellcastin

I think invocations works (game mechanically) really well with certain gods. Qazlal has a very natural relationship with invo. Mahkleb is rather good. Lugonu works. Zin works. Fedhas works somewhat.

But for most gods it kind of half works. For instance, Yred: drain life has mechanically good invo scaling. Enslave soul has OK invo mechanics, if a bit clunky (this would be more straightforward if invo affected the strength of the spectral thing in some way.) But his main abilities don't scale at all. His gifts don't scale and your enslaved souls doesn't scale. Instead of you training this for more power from your god, you have to train it just for more power from drain life. It's a little spoilery and not fun.

Invo works when it's like evo, but for god abilities. It makes them better and stronger. Qazlal is the flagship of that to me: you have amazing potential power, to the point you can use it as a big part of your late-game power if you're willing to dump a ton into invo. Invo is mechanically really bad on Chei, where it simply serves to lower the casting difficulty of most of your abilities, and the power scaling is either 0 or negligible. (Great. My step from time now lasts 2000 turns instead of 500...)
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Post Wednesday, 14th October 2015, 22:11

Re: Proposal: Make Sif's Channel Energy based on Spellcastin

Agreed chei is in an awkward spot on the invocations curve - you have to learn a fairly heavy (~14) amount of invocations, but it's primarily only for failure rate, as the abilities themselves all (except bend time) have fixed power. It'd be interesting if you could keep scaling up slouch damage, although it might be abusable if it ever got much stronger than it currently is.

I don't think removing invocations would be fair though, it'd buff some gods and nerf others, relative to the rest of the gods. But why heroism comes online at 1 invocation I'll never understand...
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Post Thursday, 15th October 2015, 18:28

Re: Proposal: Make Sif's Channel Energy based on Spellcastin

Easier solution: add Invo to the list of skills that Sif appreciates you training
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Post Monday, 19th October 2015, 12:24

Re: Proposal: Make Sif's Channel Energy based on Spellcastin

Silly proposal: gods that currently scale with a non-invocations skill scale with invocations, but get some sort of cross-training-style bonus between their current scaling and invocations. So Nemelex gives cross training (or something similar) between invo and evo, Kiku does the same thing for Necro and Invo, and if we wanted Sif could do it with invo and spellcasting. This way, there's no need to add an "except these gods, who scale with some other skill" clause to any description of invocations, and those gods explicitly show that their god power scales with something else on the skill screen.

Lasty wrote:
tabstorm wrote:That is a big tradeoff considering how bad Sif is.

Yup. But gods generally offer more interesting tradeoffs/choices than "do I worship this god or not?", IMO.


I would say that for the vast majority of gods, the main tradeoff is the opportunity cost of not getting to worship another god and not that god's drawbacks. To determine this, for each god, imagine you played a game where that was the only option. You could either go atheist, or pick that god. How many of them would you even think of not taking? Many gods offer drawbacks, but very few of them even come close to outweighing the benefits. Unless you're playing a character who gets specifically screwed over by a god's conduct (stabber and TSO, blasty mage and Trog, fire mage and Dith), I think, besides maybe Xom, Qaz, or Chei, every god is pretty much always better than atheism (and you can make a case for those three as well). And if a god is better than atheism, then the drawback of not getting to pick another god is bigger than that god's conduct.

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Post Monday, 19th October 2015, 17:12

Re: Proposal: Make Sif's Channel Energy based on Spellcastin

Quazifuji wrote:Silly proposal: gods that currently scale with a non-invocations skill scale with invocations, but get some sort of cross-training-style bonus between their current scaling and invocations. So Nemelex gives cross training (or something similar) between invo and evo, Kiku does the same thing for Necro and Invo, and if we wanted Sif could do it with invo and spellcasting. This way, there's no need to add an "except these gods, who scale with some other skill" clause to any description of invocations, and those gods explicitly show that their god power scales with something else on the skill screen.

Lasty wrote:
tabstorm wrote:That is a big tradeoff considering how bad Sif is.

Yup. But gods generally offer more interesting tradeoffs/choices than "do I worship this god or not?", IMO.


I would say that for the vast majority of gods, the main tradeoff is the opportunity cost of not getting to worship another god and not that god's drawbacks. To determine this, for each god, imagine you played a game where that was the only option. You could either go atheist, or pick that god. How many of them would you even think of not taking? Many gods offer drawbacks, but very few of them even come close to outweighing the benefits. Unless you're playing a character who gets specifically screwed over by a god's conduct (stabber and TSO, blasty mage and Trog, fire mage and Dith), I think, besides maybe Xom, Qaz, or Chei, every god is pretty much always better than atheism (and you can make a case for those three as well). And if a god is better than atheism, then the drawback of not getting to pick another god is bigger than that god's conduct.


The cost of taking a god is (generally) low, the marginal cost of not getting a different god can be very high.

Also I dunno if I'd ever go atheist over Qaz unless I was trying to play a stabber or, like, a melee Octopode. Getting pretty solid passive defense/offense and amazing active offense in exchange for stealth isn't that terrible. Hell, with Ru you can give up Stealth for only part of those benefits.

Finally, as for the silly proposal: Eh. That has all the drawbacks of weird exceptions to "who scales with Invo, who doesn't" while still removing the flavor of "Kiku is all about necromancy" or "Nemelex is all about evocables."
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Post Tuesday, 20th October 2015, 00:32

Re: Proposal: Make Sif's Channel Energy based on Spellcastin

milski wrote:Getting pretty solid passive defense/offense and amazing active offense in exchange for stealth isn't that terrible. Hell, with Ru you can give up Stealth for only part of those benefits.


Qazlal's penalty is more significant than just giving up Stealth. Stealth is mostly about what happens when you are in the monster's line of sight, but Qazlal's noise will attract monsters that can't even see you.

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Post Tuesday, 20th October 2015, 05:43

Re: Proposal: Make Sif's Channel Energy based on Spellcastin

Stealth isn't mostly about what happens when you are in the monster's sight. It's great for making monsters out of LOS lose track of you. Qazlal is certainly bad though.

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Post Tuesday, 20th October 2015, 20:18

Re: Proposal: Make Sif's Channel Energy based on Spellcastin

Quazifuji wrote:
Lasty wrote:But gods generally offer more interesting tradeoffs/choices than "do I worship this god or not?", IMO.


I would say that for the vast majority of gods, the main tradeoff is the opportunity cost of not getting to worship another god and not that god's drawbacks. To determine this, for each god, imagine you played a game where that was the only option. You could either go atheist, or pick that god. How many of them would you even think of not taking? Many gods offer drawbacks, but very few of them even come close to outweighing the benefits. Unless you're playing a character who gets specifically screwed over by a god's conduct (stabber and TSO, blasty mage and Trog, fire mage and Dith), I think, besides maybe Xom, Qaz, or Chei, every god is pretty much always better than atheism (and you can make a case for those three as well). And if a god is better than atheism, then the drawback of not getting to pick another god is bigger than that god's conduct.


By "tradeoffs" I didn't mean "drawbacks for worship". I meant that the gods inspire you to make (hopefully) interesting choices during gameplay. Gods with meaningful activated abilities do this just by having those abilities -- you have to evaluate how much you need the benefits, pay the costs, and actively put yourself into situations that help you take advantage of the ability. Gods that use a skill to some extent do this by making you choose how much you'll train that skill, adding some complexity to the primary strategic component of the game. That sort of thing.

Sif doesn't really offer any moments of interesting choice on either a strategic or tactical level; you have the choice to channel or not (always channel), and you have the choice to train magic skills to get books or not (always train magic skills to get books until you have enough books and magic skills), and you have the choice to learn the spells Sif offers or not (learn the ones you want; if you regret your choice, amnesia it at no meaningful cost). None of those choices are even really choices in 99 games out of 100.

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Post Tuesday, 20th October 2015, 21:13

Re: Proposal: Make Sif's Channel Energy based on Spellcastin

Lasty wrote:you have the choice to channel or not (always channel)

Sometimes, "escape" and "hit it with a stick" are better.

and you have the choice to train magic skills to get books or not (always train magic skills to get books until you have enough books and magic skills)

At some point, you have the bare minimum to be a viable character, and are faced with the choice between training up other things and fishing for gifts. Sometimes the choice even comes down to things like "do I train up charms so that Sif will gift me Haste sooner?"

and you have the choice to learn the spells Sif offers or not (learn the ones you want; if you regret your choice, amnesia it at no meaningful cost).

If you can learn the ones you want, then you don't want enough.

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