YAHS (Yet Another Hexes Suggestion)

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Abyss Ambulator

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

Post Sunday, 12th June 2011, 00:22

YAHS (Yet Another Hexes Suggestion)

I don't follow all the dev-related discussion on IRC, and I'm not always very good at finding where the relevant topics are on the development wiki, so please forgive me if I am suggesting old ideas that have already been considered.

However, I do know there has been some talk about hexes currently being underpowered and underused because at high level the monsters have good MR and so are effectively immune to hexes - and that one possible solution involves repeated casting reducing the target's MR.

The way I understand it is that this introduces problems of its own because it makes some hexes go from underpowered to overpowered, as by reducing MR the hex is guaranteed to eventually be successful, and then a monster with lowered MR can then be 'locked down' by repeated casting of something like Enslavement or Confusion.

My suggestion aims to go some way towards being a solution to this problem, while still allowing many of the same types of hex spells to exist as now, and also encouraging players to learn hexes to a high level if they want to use them fully.

1. Casting a hex on a monster reduces its MR, but only against further castings of the same spell. This means it is not possible to wear down a target's MR with a low level hex, then hit it with the effect you really wanted in the first place. I'm kind of assuming this is already part of an existing suggestion, but I'll put it in just in case it isn't.

2. Repeated casting of the same hex on the same monster increases the effective level of the spell by 1 (or some other amount) each time.
What I mean by "effective level" is that to repeatedly cast the spell, you have to cast it as if it was a higher level each time. So let's say you want to cast Enslavement (level 4) on an Ancient Lich. The first cast fails, but reduces the MR somewhat (depending on spell power.) Then, if you cast it again against the same lich, it is treated as if it was level 5 for MP cost, success chance, hunger, etc. So if it takes 4 casts to successfully enslave the lich, you will then be casting it as if it was level 7. The important thing here is that if you then want to keep the lich enslaved by further castings, the effective level will keep increasing until eventually you either have insufficient MP or the spell just becomes impossible to cast.

The idea is that while repeated casting is guaranteed to eventually work, doing so requires a lot of investment of MP in the short term, and in the longer term, a lot of investment in the hexes skill. It also makes it impossible to permanently lock down a monster.

There are a couple of obvious flaws in this.

1. How does this affect hexes like Mass Confusion that affect more than one monster? One answer is that it doesn't - mass effect hexes continue to work as they do now, and do not reduce the monsters' MR or increase in effective level. Another would be to re-flavour all hexes as single target effects and remove the mass-target ones.

2. How does this work with non-spell hex-type effects, eg wands of enslavement? Again, these could continue to work as they do now, without reducing MR or increasing in level.
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Halls Hopper

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Joined: Monday, 6th June 2011, 21:28

Post Sunday, 12th June 2011, 19:37

Re: YAHS (Yet Another Hexes Suggestion)

The difference between casting even a level 4 and level 5 spell is great for many characters. It's easy to have 4 at Great, 5 at Poor, and 6 at Useless, depending on equipment set-up, bonuses, or penalties. So basically a hexer would get 2 chances to successfully enslave, and after that be out 9 MP with no further chances and no effect at all on the monster? Eh. Also, I feel it's unintuitive to have only 1 school of spells that changes level. It'd prevent hexes from being cast by anyone but dedicated hexers, who run into the problem above.

I really think the best way to approach this is if a hex is resisted, reduce MR by an amount similar to (Spell Level + (Hexes Skill/3))/2, but never below half of its base MR. If a Hex takes effect, boost the MR by (Spell Level + (Hexes Skill/3))*2, but never above double its base MR. That allows for stacking multiple Hexes (By casting the low level ones like confuse or slow first) while making it very difficult to permanently Enslave anything with a decent base MR, due to the cost of MP it would take trying to reduce resistance.

Perhaps Hexers could also get a hex that is simply meant to reduce MR, maybe with minor damage on the side. Bolt of Vulnerability, a level 5 or 6 Hex/Conj, would fit the bill well enough, becoming a strategic choice for anyone who had just enough skill to cast Enslave at Great. It could follow the format of the other Bolt spells, only at half the damage and with reduced accuracy.
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Tartarus Sorceror

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

Location: Surabaya, Indonesia

Post Monday, 13th June 2011, 02:29

Re: YAHS (Yet Another Hexes Suggestion)

Trying to reduce the MR of an Ancient Lich already has it's own intrinsic risk: you may get your ass kicked by the Lich while you're busy doing that.

I believe that that intrinsic risk alone is enough for preventing stupid MR-reduction games from happening.
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Dungeon Master

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Location: France

Post Monday, 13th June 2011, 07:47

Re: YAHS (Yet Another Hexes Suggestion)

The simplest way to address people trying to permanently enslave a strong monster is to make MR regenerates. When the enslavement expires, you have to start all over again with all the risks.
<+Grunt> You dereference an invalid pointer! Ouch! That really hurt! The game dies...

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