Data: Most- and Least-used Spells


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Abyss Ambulator

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Post Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 16:24

Data: Most- and Least-used Spells

I've been curious for a while about how frequently Crawl spells are used, so I dove into dumps from 100 recent wins to compile some data. I'll attach my findings with a bit of commentary.

  • First, 27 games used no spells at all.
  • Conjurations are by far the most-used spell school, with 18 of the 25 most-used spells being conjurations (the other 7 are Regeneration, Apportation, Stoneskin, Phase Shift, Shroud of Golubria, Tornado, and Haste).
  • Among Conjurations, Fire Magic and pure Conjurations spells win the day. Flame Tongue, Bolt of Fire, Fireball, and Fire Storm are among the top 10. The notable exception is Throw Flame, which was not cast once in 100 games.
  • Charms/utility spells are similarly dominant when you look at the number of games using a spell. More than 10% of the characters learned Repel Missiles, Apportation, Blink, Regeneration, Haste, Deflect Missiles, Phase Shift, Song of Slaying, Passage of Golubria, Shroud of Golubria, Spectral Weapon, Silence, Stoneskin, Ozocubu's Armour, Portal Projectile, Controlled Blink, Magic Dart, and Aura of Abjuration.
  • Summonings is on the other end of the use list. The 100 games only contained 3 that used summonings more than a tiny bit, and Call Canine Familiar, Dragon's Call, Monstrous Menagerie, Summon Horrible Things, Summon Hydra, and Summon Ice Beast were not used at all. (Summon Mana Viper, though it was used in only one game, was cast more than 500 times).
  • Poison magic was similarly unpopular, with only 2 games learning any poison spells at all, and Alistair's Intoxication and Olgreb's Toxic Radiance were never cast.
  • Swiftness has fallen into near-complete disuse. It was cast only 8 times over 5 games, in stark contrast to its past.
  • Necromutation is vastly more popular than Borgnjor's Revivification or Death's Door, neither of which were cast at all

This data is naturally incomplete, since I had to manually get each dump from Sequell, and my patience stretched only to 100 there. If anybody knows how to automate pulling spell counts from dumps, I can plug it in to give a much more thorough picture of things. As it is, a few games cause large swings in spells, and a few schools are probably under-represented (notably transmutations). There's a lot of cool stuff even from 100 games, though. Enjoy!

(mods: even though this isn't a proposal, GDD seemed like the most appropriate subforum available for it. If you'd prefer it to be elsewhere, no worries)
Attachments
Simple Overview (avg).txt
Sorted by average casts per game
(3.38 KiB) Downloaded 26 times
Simple Overview.txt
Sorted by number of games
(3.67 KiB) Downloaded 10 times
Ordered Spell Data.txt
Sorted by total casts
(4.2 KiB) Downloaded 18 times
Last edited by Blade on Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 20:31, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 17:03

Re: Data: Most- and Least-used Spells

buff summoning, buff borg and ddoor, nerf necromut

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Post Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 17:13

Re: Data: Most- and Least-used Spells

totally automatable:

1) Go here: https://github.com/crawl/sequell/blob/m ... ources.yml
2) pick a server like cao, and grab its logfile: wget http://crawl.akrasiac.org/logfile-git
3) Pick however many lines you want out of it, and create morgue links, the morgue path is in the yaml file above (http://crawl.akrasiac.org/rawdata), and the morgue links are deterministic based off of the games end timestamp (first 8 chars, hypen, last 6 ... see cao scoring links to reverse engineer).

Basically iterate over the log entries, then issue wgets on all of the morgue links you want. Once you've pulled them down, run a script to parse out the spells cast.

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Post Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 17:41

Re: Data: Most- and Least-used Spells

Moose wrote:totally automatable:

1) Go here: https://github.com/crawl/sequell/blob/m ... ources.yml
2) pick a server like cao, and grab its logfile: wget http://crawl.akrasiac.org/logfile-git
3) Pick however many lines you want out of it, and create morgue links, the morgue path is in the yaml file above (http://crawl.akrasiac.org/rawdata), and the morgue links are deterministic based off of the games end timestamp (first 8 chars, hypen, last 6 ... see cao scoring links to reverse engineer).

Basically iterate over the log entries, then issue wgets on all of the morgue links you want. Once you've pulled them down, run a script to parse out the spells cast.

I'm quite new to programming. This is actually the first time I've made a functional program outside of class, and as simple as it is, it involved a decent bit of learning/putting concepts together. I know that pulling source files is automatable in theory, and even know how to do some of the steps, but even with a step-by-step like that, I just don't quite have the skill yet to do it.

I intend to learn, though. Hopefully later this week I'll have a bit of spare time to fiddle around with all that until I figure something out.

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Post Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 20:21

Re: Data: Most- and Least-used Spells

This is a fun project, but you're definitely going to need way more data and consider more variables to get useful data out. It sounds like you're already working on the data angle; consider also filtering your results by XL at death. It's natural that spells in starting books will be more heavily represented overall since so many characters die before finding any other books; it's also natural that conjurations would dominate since most of the starting books contain primarily conjurations.
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Post Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 20:24

Re: Data: Most- and Least-used Spells

Sorry, I should have made it clearer: this is only from winning games. I have, but didn't post, data regarding which spells were cast at which XLs. I can post it if there's interest; otherwise, I'll focus on learning to automate the input so I can get a better sample size.

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Post Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 21:34

Re: Data: Most- and Least-used Spells

This feels correct to me. The no-spell games have to be Troglodytes - for everyone else, there's buff spells and peppering things with conjurations. Not sure why swiftness is underused - I combine it with haste to great effect in nearly all my games. Also not sure why the two necro spells that make you basically invincible arent being used... too much xp investment? Not enough spell slots? Hm...
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Barkeep

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Post Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 21:54

Re: Data: Most- and Least-used Spells

Well, people aren't going to be casting Borg's like a hundred times in a game.

Can't believe Summon Ice Beast was never cast :(
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Post Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 22:01

Re: Data: Most- and Least-used Spells

Borg is a spell you learn and then hope to never cast, which matters quite a lot if you're looking at spells used.

DDoor is probably underused, but it's important to note that it has a really big drawback so using it improperly on a non-felid has a real chance of ending your game immediately. (It also probably suffers a bit from the Borg problem where you kind of don't want to have to use it.)

I also think both of them cost too much xp to be worthwhile in 3-rune games, personally.

Swiftness is surely underused now, especially if this data looked at any AEs (it is assuredly very strong at early XLs, since you have fewer options). For other characters it's still a good spell to have but probably one that doesn't get used much because it's usually not necessary and making bad situations worse with the -speed at the end means you should only use it when it significantly improves your current situation.

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Post Thursday, 18th February 2016, 01:13

Re: Data: Most- and Least-used Spells

Here's data on all actions collected from all games played on CPO, both winning and non-winning:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing

I was hoping to do a bit of analysis on the data and include more info, but sadly don't have much time right now. Posting in the hopes someone else will.

Here's the python 3 script you can use to extract the data from a directory of morgues:
https://gist.github.com/alexjurkiewicz/ ... da9a2d268b
Runs pretty quick, about 3k morgues/sec.
Last edited by chequers on Tuesday, 15th March 2016, 01:58, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Thursday, 18th February 2016, 02:06

Re: Data: Most- and Least-used Spells

lethediver wrote:This feels correct to me. The no-spell games have to be Troglodytes - for everyone else, there's buff spells and peppering things with conjurations.
Not necessarily, I've gotten wins without Trog or spells. Mostly in the past as minotaurs because I didn't understand the spell system and wanted to keep with what was currently working. It's not smart, but I'm sure a lot of new players do it.
lethediver wrote:Also not sure why the two necro spells that make you basically invincible arent being used... too much xp investment? Not enough spell slots? Hm...
Speaking for myself, for a long time I avoided Borgnjor's Revivification/Death's Door because I was afraid of dying due to losing max HP/using DD at the wrong time. They're kind of intimidating spells.
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Post Thursday, 18th February 2016, 02:08

Re: Data: Most- and Least-used Spells

lethediver wrote:This feels correct to me. The no-spell games have to be Troglodytes - for everyone else, there's buff spells and peppering things with conjurations. Not sure why swiftness is underused - I combine it with haste to great effect in nearly all my games. Also not sure why the two necro spells that make you basically invincible arent being used... too much xp investment? Not enough spell slots? Hm...

I do spell-less non-Trog melee...
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Post Thursday, 18th February 2016, 02:52

Re: Data: Most- and Least-used Spells

This is a very interesting project. I think you'll need a larger sample though -- sequell reports about 8000 games for "book recent xl>20", and around 1400 for just 0.17 with the following distribution of backgrounds:

  Code:
 172x Conjurer, 157x Fire Elementalist, 150x Enchanter, 143x Wizard, 133x Earth Elementalist, 108x Transmuter, 99x Ice Elementalist, 80x Air Elementalist, 80x Necromancer, 79x Warper, 75x Venom Mage, 63x Arcane Marksman, 53x Summoner


These are already a bit skewed and to the extent that players tend to follow some trajectory provided by their book (not really sure) the reasoning summonings are low probably already has something to do with the fact that there are a lot fewer summoning-based games in the first place. Of course it's not as if that has nothing to do with the spells in that trajectory, but if you want to answer questions like what spells casters who use summoning do use, probably just 100 games won't get you that. At the very least what spells are in what starting books are probably a huge factor. Maybe chequers' data can help.

(Btw just anecdotally I recently ran a poison MuWz that never cast or even learned OTR -- but boy did it evoke it using the staff! 728 times in fact.)
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Post Thursday, 18th February 2016, 09:20

Re: Data: Most- and Least-used Spells

Okay, I parsed some data (games won on CAO in 0.16x, 0.17x and 0.18x).
I want to believe that nothing went wrong during the process.
  Code:
 ==== total CAO games: 2275 ====
 ---- with spells: 1589 ----
 --- without spells: 686 ---
Magic Dart : 211721
Iron Shot : 167772
Bolt of Fire : 153233
Regeneration : 128301
Fireball : 110551
Stone Arrow : 100654
Lee's Rapid Decon : 98331
Iskenderun's Myst : 97554
Orb of Destructio : 84645
Throw Icicle : 76278
Confuse : 75435
Fire Storm : 66865
Lehudib's Crystal : 65114
Stoneskin : 63274
Flame Tongue : 61670
Ozocubu's Armour : 53396
Bolt of Draining : 53341
Bolt of Cold : 51314
Airstrike : 48850
Freezing Cloud : 47020
Ensorcelled Hiber : 46179
Bolt of Magma : 43295
Phase Shift : 42226
Shock : 41410
Statue Form : 40070
Sandblast : 39983
Dispel Undead : 38780
Necromutation : 38698
Dazzling Spray : 37595
Glaciate : 37161
Iskenderun's Batt : 36731
Shatter : 36629
Sticky Flame : 36578
Apportation : 36386
Haste : 35599
Sting : 34088
Chain Lightning : 32522
Spectral Weapon : 32278
Shroud of Golubri : 30278
Animate Skeleton : 30188
Poison Arrow : 29793
Freeze : 27556
Tornado : 26297
Blink : 22569
Animate Dead : 22425
Sublimation of Bl : 22139
Repel Missiles : 20652
Mephitic Cloud : 19445
Conjure Flame : 18422
Throw Flame : 18362
Shadow Creatures : 17807
Static Discharge : 17422
Lightning Bolt : 17246
Force Lance : 15889
Vampiric Draining : 15774
Blade Hands : 15736
Venom Bolt : 15587
Pain : 15403
Condensation Shie : 14345
Summon Ice Beast : 12534
Conjure Ball Ligh : 12219
Ozocubu's Refrige : 11239
Tukima's Dance : 10923
Deflect Missiles : 10171
Throw Frost : 10005
Searing Ray : 9160
Flight : 8645
Poisonous Cloud : 8351
Controlled Blink : 8230
Ignite Poison : 7927
Silence : 7580
Call Imp : 7293
Monstrous Menager : 6918
Dragon Form : 6883
Haunt : 6799
Fulminant Prism : 6756
Singularity : 6661
Portal Projectile : 6589
Agony : 6236
Spellforged Servi : 6226
Aura of Abjuratio : 5406
Enslavement : 5303
Invisibility : 5151
Infusion : 4983
Olgreb's Toxic Ra : 4968
Petrify : 4918
Simulacrum : 4855
Song of Slaying : 4755
Slow : 4665
Corona : 4223
Sticks to Snakes : 3961
Summon Lightning : 3685
Death Channel : 3678
Spider Form : 3648
Beastly Appendage : 3609
Call Canine Famil : 3530
Ice Form : 3530
Passage of Golubr : 3499
Ring of Flames : 3341
Summon Mana Viper : 3242
Mass Confusion : 3057
Summon Hydra : 2798
Cure Poison : 2796
Discord : 2795
Control Undead : 2645
Inner Flame : 2630
Summon Butterflie : 2305
Passwall : 2262
Delayed Fireball : 2093
Summon Small Mamm : 1998
Irradiate : 1880
Dragon's Call : 1827
Hydra Form : 1765
Cigotuvi's Embrac : 1751
Control Teleport : 1655
Summon Horrible T : 1457
Confusing Touch : 1297
Dispersal : 1289
Summon Demon : 1182
Summon Forest : 1104
Darkness : 1086
Gell's Gravitas : 1076
Warp Weapon : 1030
Swiftness : 1030
Excruciating Woun : 837
Malign Gateway : 821
Summon Greater De : 808
Cause Fear : 627
Recall : 625
Sure Blade : 623
Summon Guardian G : 597
Metabolic Englaci : 592
Abjuration : 505
Disjunction : 491
Corpse Rot : 453
Alistair's Intoxi : 413
Forceful Dismissa : 290
Yara's Violent Un : 161
Teleport Other : 134
Twisted Resurrect : 125
Leda's Liquefacti : 109
Death's Door : 87
Borgnjor's Revivi : 19
Song of Sleighing : 4
Lethal Infusion : 1

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Post Thursday, 18th February 2016, 12:54

Re: Data: Most- and Least-used Spells

"Song of Sleighing : 4"
Those four were Nemelex's champions.
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Post Thursday, 18th February 2016, 14:47

Re: Data: Most- and Least-used Spells

I'm surprised Call Canine Familiar wasn't used ever. Early game it can do a ton of damage for not much investment, and the dogs have SInv. I think it's one of the better designed level 3 spells because it has a nice window of usefulness.
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Post Thursday, 18th February 2016, 15:12

Re: Data: Most- and Least-used Spells

What may be a more useful metric that what was cast, would be what spells were actually memorized, and cast at least once.

Spells like magic dart will be cast quite often, as it is a primary damage dealer for conjurers in the early-game. Spells like blink, regeneration, repel missiles, improved fireball, etc will be cast much less frequently, but may be learned by quite a few characters, and even cast once or twice per game.

Typically, players aren't going to memorize a spell that they don't plan on using.

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Post Thursday, 18th February 2016, 19:17

Re: Data: Most- and Least-used Spells

I don't know about that, I memorize spells all the time that I hope I will never need to use (ddoor and borgs come to mind, I even hope I will not need to use swiftness), and sometimes don't, but the do provide a good cushion for risk avoidance even when they aren't used.

I also pick up consumable items I hope I don't have to use, and wear items with evocable powers I hope I don't have to use.
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Post Friday, 19th February 2016, 00:01

Re: Data: Most- and Least-used Spells

For me what it comes down to is this:

There are a bunch of monsters which are vulnerable to X but resist Y.
There are a bunch of spells which are good at doing X but are terrible at Y.

If you choose one of these spells, you will have invested experience into skills which you cannot easily change (besides via god but that's one specialized case).
You are doing great against some monsters, and in some branches... and then, you run into something you simply cannot deal with. Perhaps you can run away from it, but perhaps you cannot or you need to remove it to access what it is guarding. What do you do now? Well, you can make a hybrid character which also adds in melee.. but it's difficult then to be very good at anything. Jack of all trades, master of none. The major roadblock with hybridizing melee is that it's tough to cast and wear heavy armor/shields at once and still attain high level spells. Even when you pull that off, as you advance further into the game, your weak melee then will fall down to something tougher later on. War Gargoyles, I'm looking at you.

So - I am not surprised by this list of popular spells, it looks correct to me. Why is pure conjurations so popular? Because it can damage everything, even if it isn't optimal. Iron shot, okay here's a spell that simply works on almost anything. The only downside is that it hits only one target and you can't choose one in the middle of the pack. Fire Storm, well - I've been in situations playing a fire mage where just because of resists, you wind up using it on a single and otherwise not so dangerous monster, because it winds up being the only thing that'll still deal damage.

Then, you have all these spells that may or may not work against a monster (MR check, etc.), versus a set of spells which are cast upon yourself and always work... charms for example. I'm not saying it never makes sense to ever use anything which has an MR check, all I'm really saying is that it's tougher to build a caster character which can do well if you specialize in one school of magic which cannot deal with some enemies.

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Post Wednesday, 24th February 2016, 13:25

Re: Data: Most- and Least-used Spells

I have a pretty sweet summoning change done in my DCSS-CA fork. There is no cap on how many you can summon. Summoned creatures slowly drain mana, and when there isn't enough, they disappear. Initial cost of any summon is 1 MP, but their MP drain over time is based on the creature's HD and how many you have. So you could summon 5 hydra for a very brief time if you have a large mana pool, or just one for a long time. With a large enough mana pool, you could keep a pack of the weaker summons around indefinitely. Having a couple of magic potions on hand could enable you to sustain a large swarm of creatures long enough to clear a good chunk of difficult monsters. There is also an ability that appears when you have a summoned a creature that allows you to release your summons, causing them to disappear and freeing up the load on your mana pool.

Try it out!

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Post Wednesday, 24th February 2016, 13:56

Re: Data: Most- and Least-used Spells

jeremygurr wrote:I have a pretty sweet summoning change done in my DCSS-CA fork. There is no cap on how many you can summon. Summoned creatures slowly drain mana, and when there isn't enough, they disappear. Initial cost of any summon is 1 MP, but their MP drain over time is based on the creature's HD and how many you have. So you could summon 5 hydra for a very brief time if you have a large mana pool, or just one for a long time. With a large enough mana pool, you could keep a pack of the weaker summons around indefinitely. Having a couple of magic potions on hand could enable you to sustain a large swarm of creatures long enough to clear a good chunk of difficult monsters. There is also an ability that appears when you have a summoned a creature that allows you to release your summons, causing them to disappear and freeing up the load on your mana pool.

Try it out!


What's the difference between 'summon stronger monster for more mp' and 'summon many weak monsters for less mp'?
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Post Wednesday, 24th February 2016, 13:58

Re: Data: Most- and Least-used Spells

svendre wrote:Then, you have all these spells that may or may not work against a monster (MR check, etc.), versus a set of spells which are cast upon yourself and always work... charms for example. I'm not saying it never makes sense to ever use anything which has an MR check, all I'm really saying is that it's tougher to build a caster character which can do well if you specialize in one school of magic which cannot deal with some enemies.


I am a new player and I might have misunderstood some thing, but I have a hard time to understand why Hexes/Poison are not cheaper or more powerful (maybe they are) because you are pretty sure that it will useless by endgame and you need to fall back on something else.

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Post Wednesday, 24th February 2016, 14:12

Re: Data: Most- and Least-used Spells

Well, hex spells (and other MR dependent effects like wands) now give the success probability, and there are some efforts to do something about buffs. Win-win?

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Post Wednesday, 24th February 2016, 14:43

Re: Data: Most- and Least-used Spells

kuniqs wrote:
jeremygurr wrote:I have a pretty sweet summoning change done in my DCSS-CA fork. There is no cap on how many you can summon. Summoned creatures slowly drain mana, and when there isn't enough, they disappear. Initial cost of any summon is 1 MP, but their MP drain over time is based on the creature's HD and how many you have. So you could summon 5 hydra for a very brief time if you have a large mana pool, or just one for a long time. With a large enough mana pool, you could keep a pack of the weaker summons around indefinitely. Having a couple of magic potions on hand could enable you to sustain a large swarm of creatures long enough to clear a good chunk of difficult monsters. There is also an ability that appears when you have a summoned a creature that allows you to release your summons, causing them to disappear and freeing up the load on your mana pool.

Try it out!


What's the difference between 'summon stronger monster for more mp' and 'summon many weak monsters for less mp'?
I remember b26 days, where I killed a rock troll in the Mines by swamping him with spammals for hundreds of turns...


I'm not sure what you are asking here. Currently, you can only summon one canine familiar, but you can summon more of higher level monsters (mana vipers for example). This causes me as a summoner to just summon the most of a few different kinds of monsters as I can, instead of more strategically fitting the monsters to a situations. At the beginning, I often will have my 3 imps, my 1 canine, my 3 ice beasts out, always that combo. It's more logical to me that if you can cast more powerful beasts, you ought to be able to cast more of a less powerful beast. Not only that but you have to remember how many of each you can have or risk wasting some mana.

With my change, you can create as many of any kind as you want. for as long as you want, with a logical cost associated that must be considered and balanced with whatever spells a player may be wanting to cast in that encounter. Because you have much more of a choice of how long and how many and what kind of summons you will have, you can better match that to the specific situation you find yourself in. Maybe you do want to spam a lower level summon to increase your chances of escape. Maybe you want to throw everything you have into pulling out 4 hydra to have them quickly finish off a tough monster. It also puts more value on items that increase mana capacity for summoners.

It also makes spells like firestorm a bit more interesting. You can keep those summoned by fire storm around for longer if you want, but your mana will pay a price. Or you can make them disappear quickly if you don't really need them.

For me, I have attempted summoner characters many times, but had a hard time having fun with it. With my experimental summons change, I've had a lot more fun playing a summoner, even early in the game.

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