make armor multiply spell difficulty, not add


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

Snake Sneak

Posts: 97

Joined: Thursday, 23rd November 2017, 02:14

Post Tuesday, 6th March 2018, 14:13

make armor multiply spell difficulty, not add

Currently, armor encumbrance acts like extra spell difficulty. This makes it very hard for a character in heavy armor to cast a level 1 spell, but then a level 2 spell isn't much harder.

I think it would be better for gameplay to simply multiply spell difficulty by (1 + armor_encumbrance/strength) instead of using the current formula.

Dungeon Master

Posts: 621

Joined: Thursday, 23rd October 2014, 03:08

Post Tuesday, 6th March 2018, 21:44

Re: make armor multiply spell difficulty, not add

this proposal would just make it significantly easier to cast low level spells in heavy armour, which is not desirable gameplay given the large number of useful spells at low levels. for specifics, the current "spell difficulty" values are
3 (level 1)
15 (level 2)
35 (level 3)
70 (level 4)
100 (level 5)
150 (level 6)
200 (level 7)
260 (level 8)
330 (level 9)
the main consequence of this change is level 1 spells never being harder to cast than a level 3 spell in robes (unless encumbrance/str > 10, but that only happens if you're wearing the heaviest armour with <3 str).

the bigger problem with this proposal is that the multiplicative gap between level 1 spells and level 3 spells is so large that any multiplicative factor would either not be significant enough to make low level spells harder to cast in crystal plate armour, making it a no-brainer to equip any decent armour in the early game, or make it impossible to cast any level 4 or higher spell in heavier armour, making it a no-brainer to not equip anything heavier than leather armour if you're relying on high level spells to win.

For this message the author CanOfWorms has received thanks:
nago

Slime Squisher

Posts: 365

Joined: Thursday, 12th June 2014, 06:56

Post Tuesday, 6th March 2018, 22:32

Re: make armor multiply spell difficulty, not add

It would be pretty easy to make armor give both an additive penalty and a multiplicative one, so that it doesn't get any easier to cast low-level spells in plate, but you have a more logical difficulty curve. It would be a strict nerf to heavy armor spellcasters, of course, and I don't know that it's a necessary one.

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 4341

Joined: Friday, 8th May 2015, 17:51

Post Wednesday, 7th March 2018, 06:33

Re: make armor multiply spell difficulty, not add

I think what CanOfWorms described is exactly what OP wants. If it's still very hard to get level 1 online in heavy armour and difference between levels is increased, then high level spells are uncastable for sure.
Last edited by VeryAngryFelid on Wednesday, 7th March 2018, 07:58, edited 1 time in total.
Underestimated: cleaving, Deep Elf, Formicid, Vehumet, EV
Overestimated: AC, GDS
Twin account of Sandman25

Snake Sneak

Posts: 97

Joined: Thursday, 23rd November 2017, 02:14

Post Wednesday, 7th March 2018, 07:29

Re: make armor multiply spell difficulty, not add

CanOfWorms wrote:the bigger problem with this proposal is that the multiplicative gap between level 1 spells and level 3 spells is so large that any multiplicative factor would either not be significant enough to make low level spells harder to cast in crystal plate armour, making it a no-brainer to equip any decent armour in the early game, or make it impossible to cast any level 4 or higher spell in heavier armour


1) I think characters in heavy armor should be able to cast level 1/2 spells, because it makes the game more interesting if your fighter of Okawaru can at least cast Confusing Touch / Apportation / Blink. If you make spells good enough to be worth a large investment then they become too much of a no-brainer for casters.

2) If you wear heavy armor, you lose evasion. To compensate, people usually want to use a shield. I suggested making body armor multiplicative, but shields would still be additive - that creates a meaningful choice between larger and smaller shields for fighters, because the smaller shield would allow casting utility spells.

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 4341

Joined: Friday, 8th May 2015, 17:51

Post Wednesday, 7th March 2018, 08:03

Re: make armor multiply spell difficulty, not add

bhauth wrote:1) I think characters in heavy armor should be able to cast level 1/2 spells, because it makes the game more interesting if your fighter of Okawaru can at least cast Confusing Touch / Apportation / Blink. If you make spells good enough to be worth a large investment then they become too much of a no-brainer for casters.


They already can do it. For instance, my last winner was Na of Okawaru with 3 runes in plate mail with Int 9, it had

  Code:
 
 - Level 8.9 Spellcasting
 - Level 9.7 Charms
 - Level 11.0 Necromancy
 - Level 7.5 Transmutations
   Level 1.0 Fire Magic
 - Level 8.0 Earth Magic

Your Spells              Type           Power        Failure   Level  Hunger
a - Passwall              Tmut/Erth      ###.......   4%          2    #......
c - Song of Slaying       Chrm           ###.....     1%          2    #......
g - Regeneration          Chrm/Necr      ###.......   3%          3    ###....
u - Animate Skeleton      Necr           N/A          1%          1    None
U - Animate Dead          Necr           N/A          9%          4    ####...


2) If you wear heavy armor, you lose evasion. To compensate, people usually want to use a shield. I suggested making body armor multiplicative, but shields would still be additive - that creates a meaningful choice between larger and smaller shields for fighters, because the smaller shield would allow casting utility spells.


There is no need to compensate losing EV. AC alone can win you a game easily. There is already a meaningful choice between regular and large shields: the former allow to cast spells, the latter provide much higher defense while making spellcasting very hard (because it is a bad idea to have 25 levels in Shields in 3 rune games)
Underestimated: cleaving, Deep Elf, Formicid, Vehumet, EV
Overestimated: AC, GDS
Twin account of Sandman25

For this message the author VeryAngryFelid has received thanks:
nago

Snake Sneak

Posts: 97

Joined: Thursday, 23rd November 2017, 02:14

Post Wednesday, 7th March 2018, 08:25

Re: make armor multiply spell difficulty, not add

VeryAngryFelid wrote:They already can do it. For instance, my last winner was Na of Okawaru with 3 runes in plate mail


1) You would still need about that much skill for Animate Dead, but Passwall would be cheaper.

2) What % of that game did you use spells for?

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 4341

Joined: Friday, 8th May 2015, 17:51

Post Wednesday, 7th March 2018, 08:44

Re: make armor multiply spell difficulty, not add

bhauth wrote:1) You would still need about that much skill for Animate Dead, but Passwall would be cheaper.


Oh, so your intent is to make getting low level spells easier while not changing high levels spells, right?

2) What % of that game did you use spells for?


That game was special as I was lazy to cast any spells so I trained the magic schools just in case. Note that you can upgrade your body armour all game, start with leather, train some magic for low level spells, upgrade to ring mail, all spells are still castable, train magic more, upgrade to chain mail and so on. Eventually you will have level 6 spells at 1% in middle/heavy armour while using magic all game.
http://dobrazupa.org/morgue/SlowThinker ... 003734.txt
Underestimated: cleaving, Deep Elf, Formicid, Vehumet, EV
Overestimated: AC, GDS
Twin account of Sandman25

For this message the author VeryAngryFelid has received thanks:
nago

Snake Sneak

Posts: 97

Joined: Thursday, 23rd November 2017, 02:14

Post Wednesday, 7th March 2018, 11:11

Re: make armor multiply spell difficulty, not add

VeryAngryFelid wrote:Oh, so your intent is to make getting low level spells easier while not changing high levels spells, right?

Right, pretty much.

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 4341

Joined: Friday, 8th May 2015, 17:51

Post Wednesday, 7th March 2018, 11:21

Re: make armor multiply spell difficulty, not add

bhauth wrote:
VeryAngryFelid wrote:Oh, so your intent is to make getting low level spells easier while not changing high levels spells, right?

Right, pretty much.


Then I really hope the idea won't be implemented. As it stands it is already too easy to cast some arguably broken level 1 spells like apportation, animate skeleton and summon butterflies even in CPA with low Int and a source of wizardry. Keep in mind that spell failure severity greatly depends on spell level, you lose nothing but 1 turn for miscasting those spells usually.
Underestimated: cleaving, Deep Elf, Formicid, Vehumet, EV
Overestimated: AC, GDS
Twin account of Sandman25

For this message the author VeryAngryFelid has received thanks:
duvessa

Snake Sneak

Posts: 97

Joined: Thursday, 23rd November 2017, 02:14

Post Wednesday, 7th March 2018, 11:46

Re: make armor multiply spell difficulty, not add

VeryAngryFelid wrote:Then I really hope the idea won't be implemented. As it stands it is already too easy to cast some arguably broken level 1 spells like apportation, animate skeleton and summon butterflies even in CPA with low Int and a source of wizardry. Keep in mind that spell failure severity greatly depends on spell level, you lose nothing but 1 turn for miscasting those spells usually.

Apportation can be useful, sure, but IMO calling it "broken" is pretty silly. You can argue Summon Butterflies or Animate Skeleton needs to be rebalanced, I guess, but...all of those spells must be randomly found in the dungeon - are they stronger than, say, a +6 ring of protection/evasion/slaying? And rings don't even need any XP investment at all!

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 4341

Joined: Friday, 8th May 2015, 17:51

Post Wednesday, 7th March 2018, 12:12

Re: make armor multiply spell difficulty, not add

bhauth wrote: Apportation can be useful, sure, but IMO calling it "broken" is pretty silly. You can argue Summon Butterflies or Animate Skeleton needs to be rebalanced, I guess, but...all of those spells must be randomly found in the dungeon - are they stronger than, say, a +6 ring of protection/evasion/slaying? And rings don't even need any XP investment at all!


I have many games where I don't have any +6 rings but there are no games where I couldn't learn at least one of those spells if I wanted. Anyway I am not sure how it is relevant.

Heavy armour has a disadvantage - spells are harder to cast. Why do you want to remove/reduce it? Do you think heavy armour needs a buff?
Underestimated: cleaving, Deep Elf, Formicid, Vehumet, EV
Overestimated: AC, GDS
Twin account of Sandman25

Snake Sneak

Posts: 97

Joined: Thursday, 23rd November 2017, 02:14

Post Wednesday, 7th March 2018, 17:02

Re: make armor multiply spell difficulty, not add

VeryAngryFelid wrote:Heavy armour has a disadvantage - spells are harder to cast. Why do you want to remove/reduce it? Do you think heavy armour needs a buff?

Hmm, not exactly. Late game heavy armor melee characters are pretty clearly inferior to casters with Ozo's Armor, lichform, and level 9 spells, but I don't know if they *need* to be buffed there. I do think that heavy armor *without shields* is a bit weak, and it's a bit silly how *every* caster ends up using a shield.

If switching to armor multiplying spell difficulty, maybe the penalty for shields could be increased. Maybe shields could have a constant penalty (based on shield size) for spell success that can't be removed, on top of their current penalty that's removed by skill.

Slime Squisher

Posts: 386

Joined: Thursday, 26th March 2015, 01:22

Post Wednesday, 7th March 2018, 17:25

Re: make armor multiply spell difficulty, not add

bhauth wrote: lichform
i don't think there's anything else in the game quite as effective at ruining someone's credibility as lichform...

Dungeon Master

Posts: 621

Joined: Thursday, 23rd October 2014, 03:08

Post Wednesday, 7th March 2018, 23:03

Re: make armor multiply spell difficulty, not add

the point I'm making is that switching to a multiplier instead of an additive modifier doesn't actually accomplish anything; either you barely affect spell difficulty to the point that wearing heavy armour is a no-brainer, or you affect spell difficulty to such an extreme that wearing heavy armour is a no-brainer. this is not desirable at all

bhauth wrote:1) I think characters in heavy armor should be able to cast level 1/2 spells, because it makes the game more interesting if your fighter of Okawaru can at least cast Confusing Touch / Apportation / Blink. If you make spells good enough to be worth a large investment then they become too much of a no-brainer for casters.

characters in heavy armour can already cast level 1/2 spells. this is literally an Okawaru fighter that can cast apportation and blink in crystal plate armour, and they also have level 4 spells at <10% failure.
bhauth wrote:Hmm, not exactly. Late game heavy armor melee characters are pretty clearly inferior to casters with Ozo's Armor, lichform, and level 9 spells, but I don't know if they *need* to be buffed there. I do think that heavy armor *without shields* is a bit weak, and it's a bit silly how *every* caster ends up using a shield.

heavy armour melee characters and casters with level 9 spells are not comparable, you may as well argue that daggers need to be buffed because they are clearly inferior to min-delay longbows
User avatar

Tomb Titivator

Posts: 901

Joined: Monday, 29th September 2014, 09:04

Post Wednesday, 7th March 2018, 23:18

Re: make armor multiply spell difficulty, not add

@OP: maybe it would be worth posting some more data. For example, describing some typical characters (eg HOFi^Oka w/1 rune, KoWz in Zot, etc) and what spells you think they "should" be able to have online. Then we can compare these wishes to the current game reality and think about where tweaks would be needed.

So far it feels like you're concerned about low level spells being inaccessible to plate mail fighters, but there are morgues in this thread showing that's not the case. But maybe you're talking about a 4/5 int Tr/Mi? It's hard to tell so far because the exact change you're proposing isn't clear.

For this message the author chequers has received thanks:
Implojin

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 4341

Joined: Friday, 8th May 2015, 17:51

Post Thursday, 8th March 2018, 06:51

Re: make armor multiply spell difficulty, not add

I am sure we have morgues for 4/5 Int Tr/Mi with spells in heavy armour. It just takes more skill levels but since late skills are much more expensive and don't do much it's still reasonable to get some spells online instead of Armour 27 and alike.
Underestimated: cleaving, Deep Elf, Formicid, Vehumet, EV
Overestimated: AC, GDS
Twin account of Sandman25

Return to Game Design Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests

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