Catoblepas


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Bim

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Post Monday, 11th July 2011, 00:43

Catoblepas

I've just come across one in Lair and I liked it! I felt it was abit strong however, I was pelting it with some +4 poison bullets and it took a hell of a lot to kill, plus the calcifying dust was pretty much impossible to avoid. Understandably its supposed to be a harder monster, but I reaaaalllyyy felt it could have done with being deeper than Lair 3, as it was quite a struggle, especially when the blasts were every single turn (it would be nice if it could blast, then attack abit or something).

I love the tile though, good work for shaking up the lair!
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Post Monday, 11th July 2011, 21:44

Re: Catoblepas

I had the same experience. I think they are too hard for Lair:2, where I found the first one.
L:3 and L:5 each had another one.
Seems to have replaced Hydras, because I havent met a single one.

One problem is the dustspam. It uses the calcifying dust nearly every round, much like a transmuter ghost.
I dont even want to imagine meeting one of these together with a Hydra or Spiny Frog ..

The tile looks nice.
My suggestion: Reduce the dustspam ;>

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Post Monday, 11th July 2011, 23:19

Re: Catoblepas

They are a little rarer than fire drakes.
Also i'm not sure but you seem to only get petrified if you stay in the same square for a turn. So, moving around the dusts helps.

It also petrifies enemies!

My Minotaur Berserker (axe) had a much harder time with hydras than with catos.

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Post Monday, 11th July 2011, 23:27

Re: Catoblepas

yeah, maybe they are not too hard. Killed them by spamming Sticks to Snakes.
Much like I do with Hydras.

Maybe they just feel more threating because they are new ;>

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Post Tuesday, 12th July 2011, 01:18

Re: Catoblepas

I've come up against another two, both at level 4-5, and found them equally difficult. Would it be possible to increase there depth (or rarity) as Lair 5-8 don't have much new stuff spawning, and I think they're harder than hydra's (at least of the 4 head variety) for most builds.

I agree with the dust spamming, If they didn't completely cover everything with dust then the moving about thing wouldn't matter, but they go a bit mental with it.

As I said, great creature, just a bit hard for Lair 2-3.
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Post Tuesday, 12th July 2011, 07:30

Re: Catoblepas

I think their native depth (15) is just fine. It's the same as Hydra, Basilisk and Mottled Dragon. Maybe you had a deep Lair entrance.
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Post Tuesday, 12th July 2011, 07:55

Re: Catoblepas

I have defeated some, and I think they are not so hard. It's best to fight him in an open area, because there you have a good chance to step out of the cloud. If you spot one next to a hydra -> run. I've been petrified by some, and it's not so bad - you don't get too much damage when turned to stone. Lair was a little boring, because it's long and monsters are not very different. It's a very nice addition!

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Post Tuesday, 12th July 2011, 11:43

Re: Catoblepas

Is there any way to resist petrification? Does MR make a difference, and do amulets of stasis protect you?
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Post Tuesday, 12th July 2011, 11:46

Re: Catoblepas

Jeremiah wrote:Is there any way to resist petrification? Does MR make a difference, and do amulets of stasis protect you?

Only statue form protects against petrification.
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Post Tuesday, 12th July 2011, 13:28

Re: Catoblepas

Petrification is a transmutation (that for some reason also works on the undead, unlike all other transmutations), not a speed effect. I think MR works against the spell version, but not against clouds.

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Post Tuesday, 12th July 2011, 13:32

Re: Catoblepas

MR gives you a chance to resist the beam, as cast by basilisks and some wizards, ogre mages, etc. The cloud has a similar (possibly identical?) check to mephitic cloud, where you have a chance to resist based on your XL (although obviously having rPois doesn't help in petrification's case).

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Post Tuesday, 12th July 2011, 18:49

Re: Catoblepas

Wouldn't it be better to make them all check for MR?

I switched to my ring of MR when i fought catos because i wasn't spoiled it didn't work...

Also, i know stasis protects against a lot of things already, but shouldn't it work against petrification?
Petrification by stone form is obviously a transmutation, since you can still move, but the enemy petrification roots you to the ground, impairing total movement. One can argue they are different.

Also, the wiki states stasis protects against petrify :?: http://crawl.chaosforge.org/index.php?t ... _of_stasis
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Post Tuesday, 12th July 2011, 19:13

Re: Catoblepas

They aren't so bad, but when coupled with elephants and a 5-headed hydra, woo!

Also, I just uploaded a catoblepas corpse to Mantis.
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Post Tuesday, 12th July 2011, 19:41

Re: Catoblepas

XuaXua wrote:Also, I just uploaded a catoblepas corpse to Mantis.


...

...but how did you get it to fit through the tubes??

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Post Friday, 15th July 2011, 03:56

Re: Catoblepas

I'm actually the guy who implemented catoblepae (sure, let's say that's the proper plural form) and I'm happy to see that you guys enjoy it (well, for the most part)! I'm actively soliciting feedback on ways to make them better, and in fact I've already submitted one patch with a few changes (all buffs, sadly, although now the messages that appear when you are standing in/hit by a petrifying cloud are more visible). If you have any awesome stories of catoblepas encounters, or if you have any strategies that you're especially proud of, I'd love to hear them!

Some background info: it was, in fact, designed to be a harder monster, similar in threat to hydras, but presenting a unique challenge. Their powerful attack is designed to partially overcome the damage reduction of petrification, which was one of the problems with basilisks until their recent buff. They're also a slow monster, a category of monsters that is historically quite boring, so the catoblepas was an effort to make an interesting slow monster due to the fact that it can catch up with you via petrification if you're careless. Furthermore, since its stream of breath is especially dangerous in hallways, it's quite suited for Lair where hallways are fuzzy (I especially enjoy how, unlike nearly every other monster in the game, you want to fight these monsters out in the open rather than in a corridor). The fact that their breath can petrify other monsters is cool, but very hard to make work in your favor deliberately (they will breathe through other monsters to get to you, though, which was an unintended but very welcome feature). Furthermore, they have reasonably high AC and HP, so attempting to out-damage them at low levels can quickly take a turn for the worse. They're not hard to run from, though, as long as you have room to move.

Once again, feel free to let me know what you think regarding catoblepae and petrifying clouds in general! Your comments are always appreciated. :)

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Post Friday, 15th July 2011, 10:08

Re: Catoblepas

I play trunk only for 3 days, and first of all, tuning up Lair difficulty is a good thing, and petrifying monsters are good in that regard. In 0.8, when I reach Lair, it's "finally, the easy part, yeah!", and now it's not the case, and one has to be careful when moving around. However, some of my issues with catoblepae:

1. Dust spam spam spam spam spam spam spam, as said already. Maybe making it alternate dust with normal attacks or reducing dust area would make the monster slightly weaker, but it wouldn't make the area weaker, and it would make the monster less boring and predictable.

2. About "similar in threat to hydras": Either it has too high spawn, or that's just RNG messing with my games, but there weren't usually multiple hydras on every floor starting with L:2. Right now in almost every game I get at least 2-3 catoblepae starting from L:2, it's a bit too much. Maybe slightly reduce their spawn rate or move them a bit deeper?

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Post Friday, 15th July 2011, 11:31

Re: Catoblepas

Hydralisk: part of my plan to make catoblepae a consistent threat was to ensure that they breathe enough that the dust clouds were pervasive. However, one of the recent buffs to catoblepae is that dust clouds are now guaranteed to last slightly longer, both in minimum duration and in maximum duration, so perhaps you're right in that they don't need to breathe quite as often. However, note that they will already breathe much less often if you're adjacent to them.

As far as spawn rates, yes, they will be reduced for the actual 0.9 release. They've been made artificially more common for the pre-release, for testing purposes.

Thanks for the input!
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Post Friday, 15th July 2011, 13:45

Re: Catoblepas

I keep getting them all over Lair in trunk, it's annoying.

I would like to see Catoblepas bleed grey blood if possible; I think that might be amusing.
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Post Friday, 15th July 2011, 20:01

Re: Catoblepas

Wensleydale wrote:I especially enjoy how, unlike nearly every other monster in the game, you want to fight these monsters out in the open rather than in a corridor.

Ultra-mega-kudos for this, It's a very, very refreshing change, one that I have often hoped for but had no idea how to implement. Well done!!

I really do like them, I didn't want to sound as though I was in any way hating on them, I just found them a bit too difficult, but if there are significantly less in 0.9 that'll be alright I guess. I still think they could do with being put down the lair a bit, as I was a bit surprised at how strong they seemed compared to everything else. Also, I think a lower breathing rate wouldn't harm, it does get abit spammy sometimes.

Great work though, one of the most interesting creatures in a very, very long time!
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Post Friday, 15th July 2011, 23:26

Re: Catoblepas

XuaXua wrote:I keep getting them all over Lair in trunk, it's annoying.

I would like to see Catoblepas bleed grey blood if possible; I think that might be amusing.


Sorry about that, like I said, they will be much more rare in the 0.9 full release. Differently-colored blood is something that I would love, but apparently there are quite a few difficulties with implementing it... I've actually been requesting it for a while (in order to give octopodes blue blood, you see) but people seem reluctant to touch that code, so maybe it's up to me...

Bim wrote:I really do like them, I didn't want to sound as though I was in any way hating on them, I just found them a bit too difficult, but if there are significantly less in 0.9 that'll be alright I guess. I still think they could do with being put down the lair a bit, as I was a bit surprised at how strong they seemed compared to everything else. Also, I think a lower breathing rate wouldn't harm, it does get abit spammy sometimes.

Great work though, one of the most interesting creatures in a very, very long time!


I'm so glad to hear that you like them, nearly all of Crawl's recent new monsters have been either met with indifference (shedu, ophan, etc.) or outright hate (vampire mosquitos, fire crabs, bog mummies), and having my first major patch be so well-received is also pretty nice :)

I hear your concerns about their breath frequency and depth, but I think I'd like to observe how catoblepae are received in the tournament before I make any more changes. I'll keep an eye open, though.

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Post Saturday, 16th July 2011, 04:29

Re: Catoblepas

Fire Crabs are horribly tough. Vampire Mosquitos are very easy when you have dispel undead.
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Post Saturday, 16th July 2011, 10:16

Re: Catoblepas

fire crabs have more spectacular ability than most 1 tier demons. Seems inappropriate.
I never even met shedu in my last 2 wins. One of which is endgame. Where they can be found really? I put much effort in their tile and cant even enjoy it in game.
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Post Saturday, 16th July 2011, 12:44

Re: Catoblepas

shedu are pretty cool, and tough if you don't have the means to hurt them both at the same time. i only found them once and they resurrected each other four times. that was d:17.

regarding catoblepae: this may be related to the fact that i've only encountered them playing melee characters (about three of them), but i've noticed that petrification lasts for several turns and yet they barely do damage any damage, whereas they can pack a punch in ordinary conditions. i forgot to check how many AC you get while petrified, so i can't really say much about it, and it may be different for casters, but it was striking. better to err on that side, i guess.
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Post Saturday, 16th July 2011, 14:08

Re: Catoblepas

Curio wrote:fire crabs have more spectacular ability than most 1 tier demons. Seems inappropriate.
I never even met shedu in my last 2 wins. One of which is endgame. Where they can be found really? I put much effort in their tile and cant even enjoy it in game.
Sorry for ot.


I met two Shedu in a vault quite deep in the dungeon - I'd never seen them before and it was a nice surprise. To be honest it's quite cool having rare things like those that you discover now and then. They scared the crap outta me when I read the description :)

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Post Saturday, 16th July 2011, 18:40

Re: Catoblepas

Just saw my first Catoblepas; tried Meph Cloud but it didn't work, gunned it down with an un-id'd wand which turn out to be a Wand of Cold. It didn't breath any clouds at me the whole time it charged me. Another turn and it'd probably have gored me anyway tho :)

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Post Saturday, 16th July 2011, 18:59

Re: Catoblepas

mumra wrote:Just saw my first Catoblepas; tried Meph Cloud but it didn't work, gunned it down with an un-id'd wand which turn out to be a Wand of Cold. It didn't breath any clouds at me the whole time it charged me. Another turn and it'd probably have gored me anyway tho :)


Meph works on them, although their HD of 14 means it's slightly less effective than on most other Lair monsters. In fact, the only change that I'm slightly considering making before the tournament would be to give them rPois... Hmm...
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Post Monday, 18th July 2011, 18:21

Re: Catoblepas

I think this is my favourite new monster since I started playing. Admittedly I've only fought them with pure melee characters, but so far, very cool.
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Post Monday, 18th July 2011, 18:50

Re: Catoblepas

Don't think they need rP+, mephitic cloud works as well against them as most other lair monsters, and I don't see why they would need to be different.

I managed to get two at once on me and that was very nasty, and just managed to teleport away in time, so I don't think they need to be ramped up much.
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Post Monday, 18th July 2011, 19:42

Re: Catoblepas

With the catoblepas and basilisk in (with new tiles), would it make sense to have a cockatrice for the shoals and elf levels?
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Post Monday, 18th July 2011, 19:46

Re: Catoblepas

XuaXua wrote:With the catoblepas and basilisk in (with new tiles), would it make sense to have a cockatrice for the shoals and elf levels?


I would love to know how the first part of that sentence links in any way to the second.
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Post Monday, 18th July 2011, 20:04

Re: Catoblepas

XuaXua wrote:With the catoblepas and basilisk in (with new tiles), would it make sense to have a cockatrice for the shoals and elf levels?

It's too much of an iconic NH monster. And we've got enough petrifying monsters no need to keep adding more until the dungeon is filled with them.
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Post Monday, 18th July 2011, 20:15

Re: Catoblepas

mumra wrote:
XuaXua wrote:With the catoblepas and basilisk in (with new tiles), would it make sense to have a cockatrice for the shoals and elf levels?


I would love to know how the first part of that sentence links in any way to the second.


A cockatrice is sometimes defined as a basilisk with wings, which would be a petrifying beast that would fit in well thematically in elf or shoals.
Two of the beasts are brand new, cockatrice is a suggested addition and all three perform petrification/stoning attacks.

@galahar - I have not played much NH.
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Post Monday, 18th July 2011, 21:42

Re: Catoblepas

XuaXua wrote:A cockatrice is sometimes defined as a basilisk with wings, which would be a petrifying beast that would fit in well thematically in elf or shoals.
Two of the beasts are brand new, cockatrice is a suggested addition and all three perform petrification/stoning attacks.


I knew what a Cockatrice was (from Nethack) - I still don't see why it's thematically fitting for elf or shoals, any more than Lair/Vaults/Swamp/Dungeon ...
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Post Tuesday, 19th July 2011, 15:49

Re: Catoblepas

mumra wrote:
XuaXua wrote:A cockatrice is sometimes defined as a basilisk with wings, which would be a petrifying beast that would fit in well thematically in elf or shoals.
Two of the beasts are brand new, cockatrice is a suggested addition and all three perform petrification/stoning attacks.


I knew what a Cockatrice was (from Nethack) - I still don't see why it's thematically fitting for elf or shoals, any more than Lair/Vaults/Swamp/Dungeon ...


Shoals, moreso than ELF, appears to be the place for flying creatures. While it may not be true, I feel I've encountered more Griffons/Harpies/Manticores in Shoals than anywhere else, so having a flying petrification beast like the Cockatrice in the area instead of a land-bound petrification beast like a Catoblepas or a Basilisk, appears to make sense from a thematic standpoint.
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Post Tuesday, 19th July 2011, 16:01

Re: Catoblepas

minmay wrote:Mephitic Cloud is way too good against them. Not only does it confuse them, casting it on yourself prevents you from being petrified.


Maybe this is one place where the spell power of cloud spells could be made to matter more: instead of one cloud preventing any other clouds from being created in the same area (and thus giving protection from other clouds,) maybe a cloud with a higher power could displace a lower power one.

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Post Tuesday, 19th July 2011, 16:08

Re: Catoblepas

Give them breath recharge like dragons at the same rate. If that makes them weak, buff them physically.

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Post Tuesday, 19th July 2011, 16:24

Re: Catoblepas

XuaXua wrote:Shoals, moreso than ELF, appears to be the place for flying creatures. While it may not be true, I feel I've encountered more Griffons/Harpies/Manticores in Shoals than anywhere else, so having a flying petrification beast like the Cockatrice in the area instead of a land-bound petrification beast like a Catoblepas or a Basilisk, appears to make sense from a thematic standpoint.


Shoals certainly has plenty of Griffons and Harpies ... but that doesn't mean that a flying creature automatically fits there, just because it flies. Every branch of Crawl has its share of flying creatures. Shoals is more themed around Greek mythology, and of course water and swimming creatures.

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Post Tuesday, 19th July 2011, 16:25

Re: Catoblepas

Jeremiah wrote:
minmay wrote:Mephitic Cloud is way too good against them. Not only does it confuse them, casting it on yourself prevents you from being petrified.


Maybe this is one place where the spell power of cloud spells could be made to matter more: instead of one cloud preventing any other clouds from being created in the same area (and thus giving protection from other clouds,) maybe a cloud with a higher power could displace a lower power one.


The way the cloud code works, you could easily just have petrifying clouds override mephitic cloud.
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Post Thursday, 21st July 2011, 05:10

Re: Catoblepas

mumra wrote:
Jeremiah wrote:
minmay wrote:Mephitic Cloud is way too good against them. Not only does it confuse them, casting it on yourself prevents you from being petrified.


Maybe this is one place where the spell power of cloud spells could be made to matter more: instead of one cloud preventing any other clouds from being created in the same area (and thus giving protection from other clouds,) maybe a cloud with a higher power could displace a lower power one.


The way the cloud code works, you could easily just have petrifying clouds override mephitic cloud.


One of the more creative and involved ideas to solve this problem was to have newly-spawned clouds displace existing clouds. A simpler idea was to give newly-spawned clouds a 50% chance of overwriting existing clouds in each square. Because I'd much rather give a strategy a few interesting drawbacks than remove strategies entirely. But none of this would make it in time for 0.9, of course.
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Post Thursday, 21st July 2011, 07:27

Re: Catoblepas

Wensleydale wrote:One of the more creative and involved ideas to solve this problem was to have newly-spawned clouds displace existing clouds. A simpler idea was to give newly-spawned clouds a 50% chance of overwriting existing clouds in each square.

A bit of both would give good results. You'll end up with a slightly bigger cloud with the 2 types randomly mixed.
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Post Friday, 22nd July 2011, 12:06

Re: Catoblepas

galehar wrote:A bit of both would give good results. You'll end up with a slightly bigger cloud with the 2 types randomly mixed.


This seems ideal!
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Post Friday, 22nd July 2011, 14:00

Re: Catoblepas

galehar wrote:A bit of both would give good results. You'll end up with a slightly bigger cloud with the 2 types randomly mixed.


Note that this would be a significant buff to the (already powerful) Mephitic+Poisonous cloud combo.
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Post Friday, 22nd July 2011, 14:05

Re: Catoblepas

njvack wrote:
galehar wrote:A bit of both would give good results. You'll end up with a slightly bigger cloud with the 2 types randomly mixed.


Note that this would be a significant buff to the (already powerful) Mephitic+Poisonous cloud combo.

And it would be a nerf to the conjure flame / freezing cloud combo (in a corridor, conjure flame in front of you for protection). Spells can be balanced, this would just be an improvement to game mechanism.
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Mines Malingerer

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Post Sunday, 24th July 2011, 20:42

Re: Catoblepas

From a lot of feedback, I'm toying with making the catoblepas' breath deal a little bit of damage when you are hit by the beam. This would only apply to the initial blast of dust, the clouds themselves will still do no damage. The goal is to have the amount of damage be in the sweet spot where heavily-armored characters will hardly notice but lightly-armored characters such as stabbers and casters will be feeling the hurt a bit more. This also means that their breath spam will no longer just result in wasted turns (and in fact their breath spam has been slightly reduced in live versions).
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Mines Malingerer

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Post Sunday, 24th July 2011, 21:04

Re: Catoblepas

minmay wrote:Probably better to just make the breath petrify you when it hits; this is consistent with swamp dragon poison breath.


That would make them approximately terrible, and specifically would make them awful. The point of the breath is not to petrify you, the point is to create discouraged terrain dynamically.

Bim

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Post Monday, 25th July 2011, 19:01

Re: Catoblepas

Agreed, petrify on hit would be awful, even if it was a percentage it would make them too horrible to cope with. I've got to say that petrifying is probably one of the worst effects for some builds. I just got a DeFe cornered by one, leaving me to get petrified, then ganged up on by swarms of snakes, good fun though.

I've enjoyed them a lot more now that there are fewer, it got a bit much sometimes before. However, I'm not sure if a damage on hit would make them slightly too powerful, perhaps if it was on the low side of the damage 'sweet spot' it might not be too bad? I can imagine them becoming an annoying 'combo' monster otherwise. Not sure though, again, I appreciate all your work!
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