Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform


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

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Post Sunday, 2nd October 2016, 20:23

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

I claim that the game can make charms more interesting choices by interacting with magical effects more than it does now. I further believe that the charms school can promote diverse character builds by way of dual school abilities.

The direction of charms reform has been to reduce, remove, and nerf them player side. I am advocating for redirecting some of the balance away from player/spell side and into the monster design side.
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Post Monday, 3rd October 2016, 05:25

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

When an effect is a spell it inherently acquires a bunch of tacked-on attributes, most notably "you can, with some small amount of investment, use this whenever you want, as many times as you want" and "as long as you're not spamming it in combat, this has no meaningful cost whatsoever." This is because magic in Crawl is built for tactical effects, like Fireball -- the MP, turn cost, and failure rate matter, because you can only cast Fireball when there are things around to shoot with it, and you have to cast it a bunch of times to kill things. But you only need to cast a Charm spell once per fight, and can do so at your leisure. Who cares if Haste is at 25% fail or 2%? You just recast it until it sticks. Several charms have weird systems (like Haste's contamination or Swiftness's after-slow thing) glued onto them to try and counteract this, with varying results, but at the end of the day if you own a Haste book and have X ranks in Charms you might as well be hasted every time it could possibly matter, forever.

Because of this, all Charm spell effects have to be designed around this unavoidable fact that you can have them on, any time you want them, for nothing. That's the problem.

Put the same effect on a consumable or a piece of equipment or something and this all goes away. If you have 2 Haste potions, hasting is a big decision with a big impact. If you have Haste-the-spell (or I guess a haste wand and several scrolls of recharge), it isn't. Being limited allows effects to be powerful and cool, and I personally would rather have powerful, cool, limited effects than continuous, weak, passive ones.

Adding a few monsters that cast anti-Charms spells will not change any of this, sorry, any more than the existence of a few monsters with dimension lock would make it okay to have Teleport Self as a spell.

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Post Monday, 3rd October 2016, 08:08

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

You could also put some serious costs to charms. If casting haste would remove all other buffs you might have on, put you under silence and give you -scroll, -potion and -evocations, you would really have to consider when to cast haste. Of course the difficult part is to define the cost so that it is big enough but not too big for different kinds of characters...
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Post Monday, 3rd October 2016, 09:29

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

Crawl's magic system was built for simplicity and nothing else. To say that it is built for "tactical effects like fireball" when all kinds of other effects exist is a stretch.

With a design philosophy like crawl's, you can have duration effects and you can have a one-size-fits-all casting/mp cost/failrate system, but you cannot have both. There's absolutely no reason you can't have mp costs and casting behaviors (e.g. persistent charm-likes, ancestor-like summons, etc.) that make sense for all different kinds of spells. If you want to have a game with a million different spells with very different behavior, you have to face the fact that it will not work well if you are unwilling to consider a variety of cost and casting models suited to the variety of effects.
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Post Monday, 3rd October 2016, 14:49

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

ontoclasm wrote:Adding a few monsters that cast anti-Charms spells will not change any of this, sorry.
This is not true. Invisibility's place in the game, how it is more useful in some zones and less in others, how it is more useful on some characters than others, is directly related to the frequency of monsters that have see invis. Invisibility enjoys a good place in the game because the game interacts with it monster side.

Choosing to interact with charms and spell effects monster side will make them less valuable, less no brainers to have always on, and higher opportunity cost for the benefit you get while skilling. It will make balancing the entire school easier than if you continue trying to tweak them player side.

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Post Monday, 3rd October 2016, 15:08

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

Many players dislike Flight/Airstrike on Tengu interaction because it means you have to pay attention to otherwise popcorn monsters like spriggan air mage and spend a turn to stop flying. When spriggan air mage dies, you have to activate flight again because it increases your EV.
I would dislike to see more mechanic like that, for example, I cast invisibility to stab something, get the new "Yara monster" and now I have quite a dilemma:
1) retreat all the way back to stairs (assuming the monster is normal speed), I cannot even haste myself because of contamination and even more damage form Yara
2) blame myself for casting Invisibility spell instead of evoking cloak of invisibility. Yet, even with evocable invisibility it does not take any skill or decision to turn visible provided Yara will do it anyway.
It reminds me item destruction by the way, boring and frustrating gameplay.
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Post Monday, 3rd October 2016, 15:45

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

Frequently, on this forum, the vault warden combo of monsters if hailed as a well designed school of monsters. Each of their abilities on their own is not incredible, but a pack of them, combined with different monsters presents interesting challenges.

There are opportunities for good game design by using monsters that interact with player magical effects and putting them into groups of monsters in the mid-lategame.

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Post Monday, 3rd October 2016, 15:55

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

edgefigaro wrote:Frequently, on this forum, the vault warden combo of monsters if hailed as a well designed school of monsters. Each of their abilities on their own is not incredible, but a pack of them, combined with different monsters presents interesting challenges.

There are opportunities for good game design by using monsters that interacting with player magical effects and putting them into groups of monsters in the mid-lategame.


Most buffs cannot be deactivated so I wouldn't like to lure all monsters deep into explored territory to avoid seeing a "Yara monster comes into view" while I am hasted or mighted.

I think monsters with "-X aura" might be interesting. For example, "-Haste aura", "-Fire Magic aura" etc. We already have -Tele monsters and -Spells/Scrolls aura monster.
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Post Monday, 3rd October 2016, 16:05

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

edgefigaro wrote:
ontoclasm wrote:Adding a few monsters that cast anti-Charms spells will not change any of this, sorry.
This is not true. Invisibility's place in the game, how it is more useful in some zones and less in others, how it is more useful on some characters than others, is directly related to the frequency of monsters that have see invis.


Take a moment and think about how Crawl monster AI works, and compare that to a passive, always-on attribute (see invis) that counteracts invisibility, and I hope you will see why "monsters that cast anti-Charms spells" is not at all analogous with "invisibility and see invis."

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Post Monday, 3rd October 2016, 16:10

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

It isn't directly analagous. It is a wonderful design space that is nearly completely unexplored by crawl as it exists. Good things exist in that design space, and we should explore it!

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Post Monday, 3rd October 2016, 16:36

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

It is far enough away from analogous that ontoclasm is correct that it "wouldn't change anything" as far fixing charms is concerned and your counterpoint is not correct.

I'm agnostic about having more enemies in the game that can remove or block buffs. (I could see that as being fine or very bad, depending on where they show up, how often, and how dangerous/interesting they are aside from un-buffing.) But trying to achieve the goals of charms reform by adding such enemies is quite simply using the wrong tool to fix the problem.

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Post Monday, 3rd October 2016, 16:46

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

and into wrote:Trying to achieve the goals of charms reform by adding such enemies is quite simply using the wrong tool to fix the problem.

I respectfully disagree.

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Post Monday, 3rd October 2016, 17:03

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

edgefigaro wrote:
and into wrote:Trying to achieve the goals of charms reform by adding such enemies is quite simply using the wrong tool to fix the problem.

I respectfully disagree.


Is it actually possible to convince you otherwise?

I could certainly be convinced that having some anti-buff enemies in the game could improve it. I am very skeptical that anti-buff enemies would be sufficient to fix the issues with buff spells.

You wrote earlier (paraphrasing) that the only reason charms are a "no-brainer" is because there are not enemies that counteract them, but 1.) being too good ("no brainer") is not the only problem, 2.) lack of counters is not the reason some charm spells are a no-brainer. (In particular, consider some of the spells that you can and often do want to cast outside of combat — rmsl, dmsl, regeneration.)

In fact, we would be more accurate if instead of talking about "charms" spells, we took a clue from ontoclasm and instead talked about spells that give a benefit when cast outside of a combat situation, with no enemies in LOS. There are issues with spells that do that, and those issues are not solved by adding in anti-buff monsters.

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Post Monday, 3rd October 2016, 18:22

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

and into wrote:
edgefigaro wrote:
and into wrote:Trying to achieve the goals of charms reform by adding such enemies is quite simply using the wrong tool to fix the problem.

I respectfully disagree.


Is it actually possible to convince you otherwise?

I'm not really sure at the moment. I've spent the past couple of days trying to argue that the mentality behind charms reform and the way the school is looked at and talked about is overly limited. The underlying assumptions behind the current path of charms reform are incomplete. They aren't wrong, there is just more to the story.

I didn't have this view when I first made the OP, and I am grateful for being able to hash it out.

Truely, I believe a monster yaras that introduces (heavy) contamination rather than directly mutating the player has a lot of potential as a fun mechanic if you tweak the numbers. It is a LoS targeted Hellfire with a dispel. I'll play around monsters that have that ability. I'll play around monsters that have less punishing abilities. There is space for fun.

As the conversation progressed, I have come to believe that monster yara's alone is not sufficient to argue the point that the underlying assumptions behind the current path of charms reform are incomplete, and my argument has begun to break down, be scattered.

I want people to talk about fun more. I want the conversations that happen on this forum appeal to fun more often along side appeals to cognitive load concerns and degenerate play. I want to represent that point of view when talking about imaginary players playing the game. It isn't the only viewpoint, and it won't always give the greatest answers, but it is one worth representing.

Now, after 60 posts, I believe monsters interacting with magical effects can square the circle of problems currently presented by charms, be a net benefit for the game, and make the game more fun.

I'm arguing for a goddamn magic bullet and that makes me suspicious of my own argument. But it still feels like a good idea, worth exploring, which is why I am so headstrong at the moment.

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Post Monday, 3rd October 2016, 18:56

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

My instincts are that for this line of thought to work well, we have to get to a point where players are expected to have charms up which, while I think is a good place to be, is currently an anathema to the dev position.
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Post Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 01:23

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

edgefigaro wrote:It is a LoS targeted Hellfire with a dispel.

That's better what you originally proposed. This version doesn't care whether you have charms activated and doesn't contaminate you.

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Post Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 01:36

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

The whole point of reducing cognitive load and preventing degenerate play is to make the game more fun

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Post Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 02:30

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

goodcoolguy wrote:Crawl's magic system was built for simplicity and nothing else. To say that it is built for "tactical effects like fireball" when all kinds of other effects exist is a stretch.

With a design philosophy like crawl's, you can have duration effects and you can have a one-size-fits-all casting/mp cost/failrate system, but you cannot have both. There's absolutely no reason you can't have mp costs and casting behaviors (e.g. persistent charm-likes, ancestor-like summons, etc.) that make sense for all different kinds of spells. If you want to have a game with a million different spells with very different behavior, you have to face the fact that it will not work well if you are unwilling to consider a variety of cost and casting models suited to the variety of effects.

What non-tactical spells does crawl have?

It sounds like you're saying "charm spells work fine, as long as you make them work dramatically and qualitatively differently from all existing spells". Is that right?

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Post Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 02:40

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

rmsl and dmsl for starters
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Post Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 03:05

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

Actually, if you look at existing spells, you'll find about half of them all do roughly the same thing, i.e. direct damage. For the rest, quite a lot have duration effects either on the player, monsters, the environment, or allies created by the spell. I claim in all of these cases, which account for the vast majority of non-direct damage spells and unique spell effects, the crawl casting and mp cost model does not make sense.

A list of specific spells that you should cast outside of combat, sometimes a lot:

shroud of golubria (!!!!!!! -- this one is exactly like rmsl which is amazing to me)
death channel
summon almost anything
simulacrum
animate dead
animate skeleton
r/dmsl (obv)
infusion
regeneration
spectral weapon
apportation
passage of golubria
almost all transmutations
darkness
delayed fireball
excruciating wounds
battlesphere
ozocubo's armour
passwall
recall
sublimation of blood
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Post Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 03:16

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

In a thread from several months ago, I suggested a bunch of replacements for out-of-combat spells, and I still think there are some good ideas in there. Regardless, Crawl would be better if all of these spells you use before every non-trivial fight were either made into equipment, consumables, or god powers.
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Post Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 03:47

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

It would be better if crawl just followed the lead of many other games and introduced mp cost and casting models appropriate to the variety of effects offered.

edit: btw, pf, the spells on that list already work dramatically and qualitatively differently from other spells. That's the whole problem. There's a limit to how much something designed for simplicity can be stretched to work in a variety of dramatically and qualitative different settings.
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Post Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 04:08

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

I join PF in his confusion. What makes that solution better than the equipment/consumables/god/removal route? Those are the existing "models" Crawl's got for effects; I'm not really sure that it benefits the game to introduce a bunch of new ones within the existing casting system.
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Post Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 04:38

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

@archaeo: I'm sure you notice that my list includes approximately half the spells in crawl. You're talking about gutting the magic system and presenting that as the sensible alternative to the "extreme" step of altering the mechanics of casting spells that do something other than direct damage.

I remind you that the real cost for getting these duration spells currently is the experience and stats needed to cast them in whatever kind of armor you wear and that this balance of factors is pretty significant in differentiating character builds. Moving these effects into god abilities and equipment, both of which largely ignore these factors, would be a major hit to character diversity. I think you should rethink your position on this.

As for the benefits, I mean managing recasting of death channel, shroud of golubria, summoning and spectral weapon precasts and so on is just mind numbing and does belong in a video game. Refusing the obvious course of action, max mp/mp reserve costs, is just foolish consistency. What's the argument here? That max mp costs are just too complex for crawl players? We gotta leave that stuff to the brainiacs who play Path of Exile?
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Post Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 05:12

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

I'm not sure why you'd have to "consider a variety of cost and casting models suited to the variety of effects"? You could remove MP and miscasts (which rarely pose any interest IME) and replace with skill/spellpower thresholds where the spell becomes castable or useful.
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Post Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 05:26

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

goodcoolguy wrote:@archaeo: I'm sure you notice that my list includes approximately half the spells in crawl. You're talking about gutting the magic system and presenting that as the sensible alternative to the "extreme" step of altering the mechanics of casting spells that do something other than direct damage.

Sorry, I could've been more clear. I'm concerned primarily with pre-fight buff spells; summoning, necromancy, and the non-buffing translocation spells may need some changes, but I think they're fine as spells.

As for the benefits, I mean managing recasting of death channel, shroud of golubria, summoning and spectral weapon precasts and so on is just mind numbing and does belong in a video game. Refusing the obvious course of action, max mp/mp reserve costs, is just foolish consistency. What's the argument here? That max mp costs are just too complex for crawl players? We gotta leave that stuff to the brainiacs who play Path of Exile?

I'll quote Bart from an old thread I linked in that charms reform thread I made in February:
Bart wrote:There are two main issues as for me:
- permanent cost is irrelevant for melee characters, but crippling for conjurers.
- the cost does not scale over the length of game - 2MP is a lot at XL7, but nothing at XL27
As soon as you try to fix these, it turns out that toggleable passive would require quite complex mechanics.

Max MP costs may prevent the annoyance of casting buffs over and over again, but they don't really address the other problems with charms.

HardboiledGargoyle wrote:I'm not sure why you'd have to "consider a variety of cost and casting models suited to the variety of effects"? You could remove MP and miscasts (which rarely pose any interest IME) and replace with skill/spellpower thresholds where the spell becomes castable or useful.

I'm not really sure if making spells free after some skill breakpoint would improve any spell school, much less charms and other buffs.
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Post Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 06:12

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

Each charm you cast could you cut your maxMP by 50%.
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Post Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 08:00

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

The distinction between necromancy/summons and other kinds of duration-based buffs is artificial, in my opinion. The right categories to consider are instantaneous and duration-based effects. Any spell that has an effect that spans a substantial number of turns is problematic in a system with instantaneous costs in a resource that potentially recovers immediately or at least begins to recover immediately.

I think the Bart quote you give is basically hand-wringing. For one thing, I don't think "conjurers" would be significantly more limited by max mp costs than melee characters, compared to the current situation. He also ignores the fact that the real cost of duration type spells currently is experience investment in spell schools, particularly in the part of the game where a reasonable player may actually die. (I note that your arguments for god abilities/equipment duration spell effects also neglect this central point.) Tellingly, he worries that the spells would be too cheap and too expensive in the same breath. If they're too cheap with max mp costs, they're surely too cheap now. Recasting shroud of golubria is something you should still do the whole game -- the current situation is balance by tedium.

Instantaneous costs for instantaneous effects and duration costs for duration effects are about the most natural thing imaginable. This simple idea gets you out of all of the fiddly interface issues of duration spells.
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Post Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 13:50

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

Yara would be a cool spell for an unique, for a common monster it would be a major annoyance (especially with contamination, yuck)
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Post Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 15:15

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

IT COULD BE YARA.
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Post Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 15:59

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

goodcoolguy wrote:Actually, if you look at existing spells, you'll find about half of them all do roughly the same thing, i.e. direct damage. For the rest, quite a lot have duration effects either on the player, monsters, the environment, or allies created by the spell. I claim in all of these cases, which account for the vast majority of non-direct damage spells and unique spell effects, the crawl casting and mp cost model does not make sense.

A list of specific spells that you should cast outside of combat, sometimes a lot:

shroud of golubria (!!!!!!! -- this one is exactly like rmsl which is amazing to me)
death channel
summon almost anything
simulacrum
animate dead
animate skeleton
r/dmsl (obv)
infusion
regeneration
spectral weapon
apportation
passage of golubria
almost all transmutations
darkness
delayed fireball
excruciating wounds
battlesphere
ozocubo's armour
passwall
recall
sublimation of blood

Ontoclasm: "Buff spells produce bad, unfun behaviour in Crawl, e.g. encouraging repeated out-of-combat casting. The root cause of this is that crawl's magic system is built for tactical effects, like Fireball."
Goodcoolguy: "No, Crawl's magic system is not built for tactical effects. It has plenty of non-tactical effects."
Me: "Such as?"
Goodcoolguy: (^ a huge list of buff spells that produce bad, unfun behaviour, because crawl's magic system is built for tactical effects)

Do you see why the huge list you just wrote does nothing to support your argument, and, if anything, actively undermines it?

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Post Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 17:06

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

I see, so the reason you asked your question was so that I would name half the spells in the game, then you would respond "LOL THOSE SPELLS ARE TERRIBLE, YOU JUST PROVE MY POINT BY YOUR OWN LOGIC." Love to win by claiming half the spells in the game I work on are irredeemable garbage.

The point I made, which seems obvious enough, is that ascribing a design intent/model to some amorphous group of designers acting over two decades that they constantly disregard by including spells that cut against it is pretty suspect. Sounds like motivated reasoning. It makes a hell of a lot more sense to guess that the way things work reflect what was simple and worked well enough for the standards that existed at the time things were written.

Now we get arguments that we're trying to defy the very design of crawl by importing well-known fixes from other, more modern games. I think you guys came to a bad consensus on this charms stuff and you don't have a good argument in its defense now.
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Post Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 19:00

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

Well, I appreciate that you're having fun bashing on the devs and feeling good about yourself, but sadly you're misinterpreting what I meant; I didn't mean to imply that the state of affairs was intentionally designed to make buff spells bad. Nobody sat down and went "yessss, let's ruin goodcoolguy's day by laying a trap where devs will reform charms ten years from now." The magic systems work the way they do, as you say, because it was easy to code, or thematic, or seemed fun, or made sense for some short-term goal. What was Linley thinking when he decided Crawl MP would be a finite bar that recharges quickly over time? Beats me, though I would wager a guess that he was thinking about Fireball more-so than Stoneskin. But it doesn't matter why he made it that way, because that's the way it is; the end result is a system that limits how many spells you can cast in a brief period, but doesn't provide any limits whatsoever to long-term recasting. Why did the person who invented Shroud decide to make it a spell? Probably because they wanted Warpers to have some sort of defensive thingy, and Warpers cast spells, so their defensive thingy should be a spell. But, with no offense to that person, it doesn't work very well as a spell. It's not their fault; there's no big red rule in the Crawl design document that says "buff spells don't work well in Crawl's magic system."

But there probably should be.


For clarity, you've pretty much compiled a list of spells that don't work well as spells, in my opinion. I am suggesting we clean the dishes and you are pointing to a big pile of dirty dishes and going "nuh uh, look at all these dirty dishes!" Yes, those are exactly the dishes I want us to clean. Thank you.

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Post Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 19:18

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

Wow, good post.

ontoclasm wrote:For clarity, you've pretty much compiled a list of spells that don't work well as spells, in my opinion. I am suggesting we pick up litter and you are pointing to a big pile of litter and going "nuh uh, look at all this litter!" Yes, that is exactly the litter I want us to pick up. Thank you.


What's strange to me is that you somehow think that saying half the spells in crawl don't work as spells and... what? Ought to be removed, I guess, even though that's obviously never going to happen. -- Somehow this seems like a reasonable position to you.

What I'm hearing is that a bunch of developers got together some time last year and decided on what a crawl spell is, i.e. something that has an casting cost in mp determined by spell level which you pay one time on activation regardless of the type of effect, observed that lots of spells don't work well in this model, then removed stoneskin and phase shift. For all the rhetoric about what works and what doesn't, what is a legit crawl spell and what isn't, the fact is despite the far-reaching implications of this idea you have, not a hell of a lot happened and so far from being a catalyst to change, this very definite concept of what a spell is and has to be gets used instead to attack alternatives and maintain a situation that will see hundreds of duration spell recasts in nearly every game for years to come.
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Post Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 19:35

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

Last year? Spells have worked that way since Linley Henzell. If you want the magic system redesigned from the ground up, by all means, be my guest. It doesn't work the way it does because of some draconian decree, it works that way because that's how Linley made it and nobody's changed it.

The fact that non-tactical spells are sort of awful has been stated, pointed at, argued about, patched over, partially fixed, etc. etc. etc. for over a decade. Remember when there was a spell that gave you a random mutation? Or the one that mapped floors of the dungeon for you? Or the one that extended the duration of all your buffs? Non-tactical spells are numerous (and used to be far more-so) and densely woven into the fabric of Crawl; a simple instant fix is unfeasible both in terms of the impact it would have on the game and the sheer amount of coding it would require.

What happened last year is that some devs decided to make a more substantial attempt at fixing that problem. That's all. Big projects like that take time, effort, and discussion, especially since crawl dev is driven largely by what volunteers feel like coding on a given day. Sorry if you find it confusing or something.

And yes, I (personally, not the dev team as a whole) think almost all those spells should be reworked as something other than spells, or, failing that, removed outright. I would also like to end world hunger and own a Bugatti Veyron. The fact that none of these things are likely to happen any time soon is not a reason for not wanting them. In the meantime, I can at least speak up in favor of moves in the direction I'd like (e.g. removing Phase Shift) and discourage moves in the other direction (e.g. bringing Phase Shift back).
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Post Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 19:50

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

What I recall about this, and admittedly I'm very much on the periphery of these things, was a lot of seemingly new talk about why mp reserve/max mp duration spell costs could never ever work because that's just not what a crawl spell is.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying anything actually changed outside of the way this stuff is talked about in certain circles.
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Post Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 20:45

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

goodcoolguy wrote:What's strange to me is that you somehow think that saying half the spells in crawl don't work as spells
Sounds about right to me tbh

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Post Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 22:01

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

Well, not my place to say, and this is all pipe-dream stuff of course, but I'll take a crack at it.

If I had my druthers....

+ Necromancy spell effects are moved entirely to Kiku and Yred.

Yred: Passive stochastic reaping, recall, pain mirror, drain life, enslave soul. Instead of undead pet gifts you get "Netherworld Gate" or w/e which ports in a bunch of undead summons over time. Becomes undead minion god, but without any permanent allies.

Kiku: Passive chance for miasma clouds on some kills, rTorment, rotting immunity. Sublimation of blood, excruciating wounds, torment, death's door. The "other necromancy effects" god.

Yred and Kiku can be re-themed as brothers or something, I dunno. Necromancy as a spell school is removed, as is necromancer background (naturally).


+ Transmutations moved to some new god who gives claws to non-Tr/Gh devotees and moves all your weapon experience to unarmed upon joining, then gives forms and better claws as you gain experience. God counts as chaotic for Zin purposes. Spider form, ice form, statue form, dragon form. As god abilities some of these could be rebalanced/buffed. Dragon could lose rC-. Would be cool if you could shoot net (cost of breath) as spider and got stronger fire breath as dragon or something. Could give ice form and statue form some (a)bility that uses breath mechanic too. Have fun with it.

Trasmutation spell school removed, along with transmuter background.


+ Pretty much all summon spells are just removed, along with summoner background. Aura of abjuration can stay. With some rework I think servitor, malign gateway and summon forest could possibly remain.


shroud of golubria
You cast it to generate an actual magical shroud that takes up the cloak slot. When equipped this provides no AC, lowers max MP by some % + 2, and keeps up a shroud effect. When hit too much the shroud effect goes away temporarily; time until the shroud effect is recast and the strength of the effect varies with spellpower.

death channel (and similar necromancy spells)
If the "remove necromancy" thing is too extreme — these spells could be reworked to hit enemies with a status, upon dying they come back as spectral dudes or whatever and help you out until time expires.

r/dmsl (obv)
At least for the moment can stay as they are, but I'd like to play around with Siegurt's suggestion and see if it could work

delayed fireball
Less problematic imo, can stay at least for the moment, but no big deal if removed either

spectral weapon
Gotta target an enemy in order to cast; it summons a version of your weapon adjacent to you; this weapon can attack only the targeted enemy.

battlesphere
Can only aid against enemies within LOS when cast. Those enemies get a "tracer" on them, only enemies with a tracer can be shot by the sphere.

oz's armor
Let's see if move-speed nerf does anything with this (haven't playtested that enough, myself)

apportation
Just remove already, this is long overdue.

infusion
Try out: Drains a lot of your MP up front for a temporary +slay status. Try to make it good early but less useful later, when the +slay is proportionally smaller and the MP drainage more of a problem. If something like this doesn't work, just remove it (and skalds, then I suppose).

passage of golubria
Upon casting it places two linked portals, one adjacent to you, and one further away. They eventually time out, and do so more quickly as you use them. If cast again it places two new portals. (No more Zot5 cheapness.) Spellpower influences the durability of the portals. They time out very quickly when outside LOS (like clouds).

I don't think darkness or passwall are too problematic actually but I might be wrong!

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Post Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 00:29

Re: Make Yara's a Monster Spell; End Charms Reform

I'm not sure why summoning and necromancy get lumped in with charms/tmut/buffs unless we're just talking about "spells that are currently not working in Crawl." They both need work, but they have very different problems from the buffing spells. I, for one, think summoning is extremely salvageable; necromancy is iffier, and I kind of like the and into solution of splitting it between Yred and Kiku, but it has arguably been headed in a better direction over the past few versions.
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