Sif knowlege gifts

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

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1567

Joined: Friday, 21st January 2011, 22:56

Post Wednesday, 31st August 2011, 18:48

Sif knowlege gifts

Sif is a pretty boring god. His only active skill is channeling, all other effects are passive. And his most important boon, book gifts, is purely strategical. Another problem is that gifts are not taken away upon deserting Sif, which encourages building up a library, then switching to a different god while still reaping the main benefit of Sif worship. Also while Sif is the best god for generalist casters he is the god that requires the least flexibility. Generalists are built for being flexible, and they are most interesting when played flexibly. Yet worshiping Sif stifles this playstyle by eventually giving you permanent access to every spell.

To make Sif more dynamic and remove the gift problem I propose removing or greatly reducing book gifts and instead gifting spells directly to memory.
  • Gifted spells use their own set of spell slots. This could for example be 1/3 of regular spell slots, so if you have 30 slots you get another 10 slots of sif gifts. Gifts should be fairly frequent, so they should not interfere with the rather static list of regular spells.
  • Gifts start at low piety (for example **). Sif is currently almost equivalent to not having a god until at least mid-lair. That's boring.
  • Gifts are constantly replaced by new spells, when a new spell is gifted the oldest gift is deleted until there are enough slots to fit the new gift. Gifted spells should barely stay in memory long enough to dive to a branch end and clear part of it. Using regular piety based gift timeout is not good, because that way the player could freeze his gift list by turning off piety gain by not training magic skills.
  • They get their success rate upgraded to great (90%). Sif is a far better teacher than books, all the knowledge you need to cast the spell is burned into your memory by his divine power. Also this ensures that you can actually use the gifted spells. Success rate bonus is determined at the time of gifting, so if you put on heavy armor or take off wizardry success rate goes down, if you take off your armor or train spell skills you get better success rate (not like there is much room for improvement). Gifted spell success rate could depend on piety.
  • Only castable spells are gifted, no 0% success rate spells and obviously no transmutations et al for undead. Maybe there could be a low (5-10%) chance to allow 0% success spells, just to shake things up a little. Also only spells that fit into the limited amount of sif slots are gifted, and player level requirement is obeyed (it could even be changed to needing 2x spell level to avoid firestorms at level 9 and the like).
  • The same spell is rarely gifted twice (timeout or reduced weighting). More variety is the point of this proposal.
  • 50% of the time the gifted spell is completely random (obeying the previous point). This gives the player the opportunity to expand into new spell schools and try spells he didn't expect to use with this character.
  • 50% of the time it is strongly weighted towards fair success rate (around 60%), and weighted towards schools you are skilled in (to avoid being spammed with low level spells at high spellcasting, and to give spells related to the chosen playstyle). This (combined with the success rate upgrade) means the spells will often be more powerful than what you could normally use, but this power is a limited time offer. The target success rate could get lower with piety, shifting the weighting towards stronger spells as you gain piety.
  • Spells you already know are not gifted (even if the success rate upgrade could be useful).
  • They can not be forgotten by the player, only replaced by Sif. They are burned into your memory by a god. Also this prevents tuning the spell list to keep useful spells longer.
  • All gifted spells are lost upon deserting Sif.
  • Gifted spells use a different color on the spell list.
  • They act like regular spells in all other aspects (hunger, spell power, miscasts, training).
  • If book gifts are not removed but reduced they could draw from the list of previously gifted spells.
  • This is probably a buff, so some other Sif power should be removed. Miscast protection is pretty boring IMO.

What does this accomplish? It gives a caster a set of random tools, weighted to be related to his playstyle but more powerful than what he could usually cast due to increased success rate. To get any use out of this the player has to actually use the spells though, and incorporate them into his playstyle. Basically it's a random set of god powers, weighted but not guaranteed to be useful. This requires the player to adapt, which is far more interesting than what Sif currently does.

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1567

Joined: Friday, 21st January 2011, 22:56

Post Wednesday, 31st August 2011, 19:25

Re: Sif knowlege gifts

minmay wrote:But the player is already forced to adapt when worshipping Sif Muna. You only get access to most of the spells in the game after a very, very long time, and even demigods don't have to adapt to anything during the extended game. Before that point, your choice of spells is still very limited.

I haven't noticed this. Gifts seem weighted towards high skill schools, so I usually get what I want. Of course I might be imagining things, or maybe I'm just lucky with Sif gifts.

minmay wrote:Channeling is easily on par with most other god powers that you get by mid-Lair.

Maybe I've not been using channeling enough. Usually I prefer to retreat and rest, and often I delay training invocations with Sif. Starting piety for spell gifts is easy to change though.

minmay wrote:
Galefury wrote:Success rate bonus is determined at the time of gifting, so if you put on heavy armor or take off wizardry success rate goes down, if you take off your armor or train spell skills you get better success rate (not like there is much room for improvement). Gifted spell success rate could depend on piety.

This seems highly abusable.

A minor success rate upgrade in turn for crippling your caster with heavy armor long enough to get a gift. This hardly seems worth it. Also uncastable spells are not gifted, and gifts are weighted to target a medium success rate, so putting on heavy armor reduces gift power. I'm more worried about people putting on armor to block gifts of low level spells in untrained schools.

Dungeon Master

Posts: 3618

Joined: Thursday, 23rd December 2010, 12:43

Post Wednesday, 31st August 2011, 19:46

Re: Sif knowlege gifts

I agree that Sif is saddled with some issues. Then again, I wouldn't see "only one active ability" as a gauge for boringness. For example, Ashenzari was designed with the goal of having no active abilities you use all the time and no sacrifices. In my opinion, Sif feels boring because she gives useful, but utterly non-unique things: book gifts (an acquirement), channeling (available from staff or a miscellaneous item). The passive miscast protection is good, but does not really increase Sif's sex appeal.

galefury has another good point in that it does not feel good how Sif dishes out the books in large amounts, and when you have them all, you feel compelled to say good bye. And I do think that spell gifts are a good way to address the matter, although the proposal has a few flaws. The randomness makes it very unreliable. You cannot really some gift spell to attack a spell; perhaps it will suffice to attack a certain unique.

A long-standing, if vague, idea of Sif was that of a library. You wouldn't get the book as an item, it'd stay with Sif. This could probably be fleshed out and would also solve galefury's issue. I'd see spell gifts rather with the more dedicated gods, for example Vehumet. That one has fewer gifts to give anyway, so by going to spells we prolong the gifting period. Also, the theme is more narrow, so offering "Do you want to learn Orb of Destruction? (y/n)" is a very meaningful question to a follower.

Dungeon Master

Posts: 1611

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 21:54

Post Wednesday, 31st August 2011, 20:38

Re: Sif knowlege gifts

Something along these lines for Vehumet instead of his book gifts could be cool, yeah.

Lair Larrikin

Posts: 16

Joined: Monday, 13th June 2011, 00:52

Post Monday, 5th September 2011, 12:13

Re: Sif knowlege gifts

Hi, i love to play sif and don't think much needs to be changed as it is by far the best god to diversify and change spell lists frequently with amnesia and miscast protection and the rest of the good stuff. If you'd like to make sif more appealing for the later parts of the game, a small improvement to the channeling would probably be enough (say from 1d(2+inv/4) to 1d(3+inv/3) ), and to make the deluge of spell books more manageable having access to the sif library of all spells (but only be able to learn spells at spell level * 2 in one of the skills level, so with conjuration 2 could learn magic dart and with conjuration 18 could learn fire storm and ice storm) instead of the books as a god ability could work out too.

Please dont change it too much though it's quite good and fun as it is!
User avatar

Blades Runner

Posts: 575

Joined: Tuesday, 18th January 2011, 15:11

Post Monday, 5th September 2011, 12:25

Re: Sif knowlege gifts

channeling doesn't need a buff. quite the opposite.
Wins: DDBe (3 runes, morgue file)

Return to Game Design Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by ST Software for PTF.