remove Leda's Liquefaction


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Halls Hopper

Posts: 74

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

Post Thursday, 7th June 2018, 03:18

remove Leda's Liquefaction

Has anybody ever actually used Leda's Liquefaction? It's quite useless.

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Berder, VeryAngryFelid

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 8032

Joined: Sunday, 5th May 2013, 08:25

Post Thursday, 7th June 2018, 04:14

Re: remove Leda's Liquefaction

It's not useless. Under reasonable circumstances, it penalizes monster movement more than player movement, so you can use it to keep non-flying melee monsters from catching you. It gives monsters a 25% chance to fumble their melee attacks too. It's not useful later in the game when melee monsters have stopped being scary, but sticky flame is proof that a level 4 spell doesn't need to be useful late-game to be good.

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Nekoatl

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Friday, 8th June 2018, 02:40

Re: remove Leda's Liquefaction

Really it's not fantastic, but it's Ok, it can be used to escape like swiftness can, and it can be used to slow things down in their approach to let you get some extra ranged attacks on them, and it can be used to reduce incoming damage (causing fumbling) if you're planning to stand your ground anyway

I only have three problems with it, personally. The first is that in the time period for which it's useful, you'll rarely have it (unless you're an arcane archer, and they don't especially need it) The second is that it is too expensive at level 4 (both in terms of XP and MP) for the time period in which it's a good spell, and the third is that it's a bit of a newbie trap.

If it was moved to level 3, and put (back) in the EE starting book, it would actually be a pretty decent utility spell. (To contrast it, it's slightly less useful than Conjure flame or Mephitic Cloud, and it's slightly better than the current Ozocubu's Armour or Inner Flame, so to me it seems like it'd be solidly a level 3, two school spell.) And it's not quite as much of a newbie trap as inner flame (It's slightly less likely to get you killed if you use it incorrectly)
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Ge0ff, nago

Snake Sneak

Posts: 103

Joined: Sunday, 11th September 2016, 17:21

Post Saturday, 14th July 2018, 19:05

Re: remove Leda's Liquefaction

I've been quite happy to have Sif gift Leda's to quite a few of my DE wizards. It's a terrible spell for some characters (meleedudes in particular) and against some enemies (phantoms especially), but an excellent spell for/against others. Try combining it with Translocation spells like Blink, Gell's Gravitas, and Force Lance.

Vestibule Violator

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Joined: Tuesday, 23rd December 2014, 23:39

Post Tuesday, 17th July 2018, 07:02

Re: remove Leda's Liquefaction

Leda's is level 4 Hexes/Earth. That's a really odd combination of schools that you probably wouldn't have for any other reason (provided you aren't a Gnoll). At level 4 it also costs a lot of MP, especially when it has to be constantly recast due to its short duration.

I did the following experiments with 17 int, 10 hexes, 10 earth magic (that's quite a lot of skill XP for a dubious utility spell! You could get Regen for less).

As a Swiftness substitute, even if you cast Leda's and run from a speed 10 enemy that is initially adjacent to you, you will only gain one space. The enemy will get adjacent again and attack you as Leda's expires. Plus Leda's expires very quickly, as measured in walk distance, compared to Swiftness. In short it's terrible as a Swiftness substitute. Plus Swiftness is level 2. The only conceivable use would be if you wanted to get a space to go up stairs, and you were exactly the right distance from the stairs.

Is it good for preventing enemies from attacking you in melee? If you're a blaster mage you shouldn't be spending the MP on constantly recasting it, and if you shoot things with projectiles it's not worth the XP to train those 2 weird schools just for that. It also increases the danger from new enemies coming into view at edge of LOS because you can't retreat as fast.

Is it good for slowing down enemies that approach you, so you can shoot them more times? It costs you a turn to cast, perhaps two turns if you miscast, and at radius 3-4 it's only going to slow an approaching enemy by one or two turns. After the circle shrinks, additional enemies will be slowed even less. Not worth the XP or the MP.

To sum up: completely useless spell.
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bel

Tartarus Sorceror

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Post Tuesday, 17th July 2018, 07:08

Re: remove Leda's Liquefaction

I think I have never used Leda's Liquefaction in my life. It seems awfully expensive for dubious benefit. That doesn't mean it's bad though, just that I don't know about it.

Snake Sneak

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Post Wednesday, 18th July 2018, 01:34

Re: remove Leda's Liquefaction

I should perhaps mention that my general DEWz strategy is to put all points in INT and cap Spellcasting before finishing Lair, so I was able to get full LoS range from Leda's by the time it was gifted to me, every time. Also, the school skill XP required to get the failure rate down to 1% was quite small, and I could easily afford the 4 MP since I had so many levels of Spellcasting (DE's +3 and +1 aptitudes didn't hurt either). I would cast Leda's, lay down a wall of Conjure Flame, Force Lance anything that dared to cross the flames and plant Fulminant Prisms to clear out the mob. Good times.

Blades Runner

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Post Wednesday, 18th July 2018, 01:45

Re: remove Leda's Liquefaction

That strategy is, imo, not good.

re: Leda's, it is an extremely niche, awkward, complicated spell that is almost always inferior to the level 4 single school spell in the AM starting book and is unlikely to be worth the investment for anyone else even if they find it early. There is probably room for a rework that is both stronger and more intuitive about what it does.
Remove spell hunger.

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Berder

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Wednesday, 18th July 2018, 03:03

Re: remove Leda's Liquefaction

Of course Leda's is worse than Swiftness and Conjure Flame, 95% of the spells in the game are worse than Swiftness and Conjure Flame.

Leda's basically has two uses: giving you a momentary speed advantage over monsters, and reducing monsters' damage output. The first is pretty self-explanatory, it's a worse version of Swiftness that you use if you haven't found Swiftness yet. It also requires decent spell power or you won't be able to recover the turn spent casting it in the first place (although it is still sort of useful for making gaps between you and speed 11/12/etc monsters). A worse version of Swiftness is still pretty good for a while, but it pretty much loses all use after Lair.

The second use is more complicated. Obviously it reduces melee damage via the 25% fumble chance, but it also reduces the damage that spellcasting monsters will do, because every bit of energy that monsters spend on movement is a bit of energy that they didn't spend on doing something productive. So against most monsters, casting Leda's is pretty good as long as you're not going to make melee attacks. Remember that you can cast it before the monster enters LOS (use walls).

However, non-master archer monsters with launchers/throwables standing on liquefied ground actually become more likely to shoot instead of moving (88.9% chance of shooting instead of the 80% chance of shooting that they have on non-liquefied ground), and master archers will always shoot instead of moving if they're standing on liquefied ground, so Leda's is actively counterproductive against monsters with launchers/throwables.

I also can't think of a useful way to combine Leda's with Gell's or Force Lance (I can't think of a useful way to combine anything with Gell's for that matter).

I wouldn't be sad to see Leda's go, but I have to admit that it's a pretty strong monster debuff. Since it's is strictly an early-game+Lair spell for most characters, you won't cast it very often because you simply won't find it early enough in most games. It's the same situation with Olgreb's, and pretty much all the level 1 and 2 damage spells. But like Olgreb's and the level 1 and 2 damage spells, it's really good for a while, you just need to find it during that time. And low-level spells becoming useless later in the game is fine IMO, nobody complains about whips being useless later in the game right?

There are some spells I think are basically useless all game (song of slaying, Gell's, inner flame, etc.), but I can't put Leda's in that list ever since I learned it only penalizes the player's movement delay by 3.

Vestibule Violator

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Post Wednesday, 18th July 2018, 04:19

Re: remove Leda's Liquefaction

Perhaps reduce Leda's to level 3, and at the same time boost its spellpower by a lot so that a brute who can cast it at 10% would get radius 5. Then it might have some use despite its downsides.

basically useless all game (song of slaying

lol
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Snake Sneak

Posts: 103

Joined: Sunday, 11th September 2016, 17:21

Post Wednesday, 18th July 2018, 18:52

Re: remove Leda's Liquefaction

I don't recommend using Leda's as a substitute for Swiftness. For one thing, it slows the player's speed as well, though on average to a lesser degree than it slows monsters. For another, the gradually decreasing radius means that after a while, the player will still be burdened with the speed penalty when monsters chasing the player will not be, and the spell can't be cancelled or recast until it completely wears off. Leda's primary use is to help dispose of enemies more efficiently, but if you must use it as an escape tool, it's best used to buy time while waiting for a teleport to take effect.

Let's say you want to use Force Lance to wear down some enemy meleedudes while keeping them at bay so they can't retaliate. If they have normal movement speed, then in the best case scenario you can manage 2 monsters. If you have Leda's active, then in the best case scenario you can manage 4 monsters. Granted, the best case is very unlikely, but this illustrates that Leda's can buy time to do more, and any effect that rearranges the battle such that enemies have to move more times to get into melee range amplifies the value of reducing their movement speed.

If using Gell's for direct damage, it's best used against clusters of enemies, and it's easier to collect enemies into clusters if they don't move as often (especially if only those closest to you don't move as often). Gell's also combos well with cloud-generating spells, particularly those that can't (reliably) be cast directly on monsters, as you can simply relocate the monsters into the clouds.

Characters with a repel/deflect missiles and/or reflection effect are sometimes better off being attacked with missiles than in melee.

One thing I will concede is that this kind of control-oriented caster gameplay requires more mental effort and therefore more time than simply choosing a Vine Stalker Fighter and cleaving through everything while laughing at being nigh-unkillable, so players simply looking to rack up as many wins as possible in as little time as possible would be well advised to avoid it. That said, I personally find it to be the most interesting and therefore enjoyable way to play Crawl (though I'm not always in the mood for it, and having a hard limit of 21 memorized spells can be rather annoying [though most characters will never have the opportunity to be so inconvenienced]).

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Wednesday, 18th July 2018, 20:09

Re: remove Leda's Liquefaction

The problem with all these Force Lance ideas is that Force Lance only does good damage if it causes a collision, so any "keep things at bay" use will just run you out of MP without killing the monster (unless the monster was really weak in the first place); you want the knockback to make the monster hit an obstacle, not actually knock it back.
Gell's also does really terrible damage so I don't think that's a viable use either - at the very least, I don't think Leda's significantly helps with it.

Snake Sneak

Posts: 103

Joined: Sunday, 11th September 2016, 17:21

Post Wednesday, 18th July 2018, 22:49

Re: remove Leda's Liquefaction

Right, that's why I like to lay down a wall with Conjure Flame first, and mix in other forms of damage like Fulminant Prisms. The extra turns that Leda's buys are perfect for mixing in other spells. Gell's Gravitas is the same, you won't get any decent damage out of it if there's just 1 or 2 monsters; you need to drop the first guy onto a cloud of flame and then pummel him with several of his buddies to see significant damage (bonus if the guy getting dogpiled has an Inner Flame effect). That said, the main reason to cast Gell's over other AoE damage like Fireball is for the positioning effect, but under favorable circumstances the damage it can deal is quite welcome, and gathering enemies into a tight cluster can help to make spells like Fireball more efficient.

I also realized that the last time I was lucky enough to be gifted this particular combination of spells in the early game was before the Sif rework, when those extra turns could be reliably and efficiently converted into MP. Successful use of control-oriented caster strategies might be more difficult now that Sif demands piety to channel MP (or it might be easier now that more MP can be channeled per turn spent; testing is required).

bel

Tartarus Sorceror

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Post Yesterday, 03:15

Re: remove Leda's Liquefaction

You can do all of those things without Leda's. Indeed, while laying down time bombs (Fulminant Prisms) I find that mobility helps, because I'm usually moving backwards. Leda's interferes with that.

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duvessa

Snake Sneak

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Joined: Sunday, 11th September 2016, 17:21

Post Yesterday, 03:43

Re: remove Leda's Liquefaction

Again, I don't advise using Leda's to kite. Sometimes Prism kiting is the superior strategy (especially against ranged threats), but there are also situations where it's advantageous to not have to kite. If you're going to be setting off loud explosions, being able to stand on a staircase and corral enemies into those explosions can be safer than kiting through an unexplored level (especially for slower species).

And again, Leda's is not necessary, but can be quite helpful. I don't think any reasonable person would suggest that Leda's is advantageous to use in every situation, but in my opinion, if there were a spell for which that could reasonably be said, it would mean that spell would be OP and should be nerfed for the sake of having more interesting decisions to make.

Slime Squisher

Posts: 350

Joined: Monday, 14th December 2015, 00:43

Post Yesterday, 10:14

Re: remove Leda's Liquefaction

Can someone provide a morgue of a character who reliably and consistently used Leda's? Preferably in a game where it was justified, and not picked over the better options out of curiosity or to prove a bad point. I'm interested what kind of a character would use it in the first place. I imagine FoEE could be moderately interested, but I'm having troubles coming up with any other combo. Picking Leda's to me sounds like a real desperation.

Snake Sneak

Posts: 103

Joined: Sunday, 11th September 2016, 17:21

Post Yesterday, 14:28

Re: remove Leda's Liquefaction

What do you mean by "reliably and consistently"? If you mean a character that uses Leda's in every fight once it's available, I'd say that's a character that's played poorly. If you mean a character that makes effective use of Leda's in situations where it makes sense to cast, I wouldn't mind posting a DEWz run at some point, but realize that while Leda's can be a very effective part of a multi-spell strategy, it's not nearly as good without other spells that it synergizes with, and considering Sif Muna's whimsical gifting habits, most DEWz runs won't be able to make effective use of it in a timely fashion. And, it does become less useful towards the late game as dangerous long-range threats increase in number and in difficulty to manage (I eventually unlearn Leda's in favor of some other spell after hitting the hard limits on memorization). So, if you'd rather not settle for a Wizard mode character created for demonstration purposes, you might have to wait quite a while before the RNG decides to be cooperative (especially because I only play when I feel like it).

If a description will suffice, I worship Sif Muna and put all stat points into Int. For skills, I first get Conjuration to level 4, then Spellcasting to level 7, then Fire, Air, and Poison to level 1 (I typically don't bother learning Call Imp or Slow initially). Then, I heavily focus Spellcasting, with moderate investment in Dodging and Invocations, and mild investment in magic schools, Fighting, and sometimes Shields. If I find an artefact weapon I like, I'll probably train the corresponding skill up to mindelay eventually; until then, I usually find a nice branded dagger to stab weak/confused enemies with and/or a branded polearm to reach across clouds of flame, without investing XP into those weapon skills. I also keep an eye out for magical staves and in some games do quite a lot of weapon swapping. The heavy focus on Int and Spellcasting means that Sif Muna gifts earlier and more often, and I can quickly make effective use of those gifts with a relatively small investment in each spell's schools. When new spells arrive, I consider what options are available and try to piece together some ad-hoc strategy, with no hesitation towards branching into unfamiliar schools. The reduced XP required per school and the strong possibility of being able to leverage any such investment in other spells that are gifted later means that there's not really a need for such hesitation. Depending on the gifts received and the equipment found, I might deviate from my general skill allocation strategy somewhat, e.g. an early Book of Maledictions has incentivized me to invest in Stealth and Short Blades in the past. As previously mentioned, this style involves a lot of thinking and results in generally slower play (and is also more susceptible to careless/stupid/newb errors and therefore more risky to try while tired), but it also offers tremendous variety and replay value. It's fun! :D

Aside from the DEWz strategies I have experience with, another use of Leda's that I recently thought of but haven't yet tried is for an Arcane Marksman to keep feared enemies in range longer by making it harder to run away. Frankly, though, with the danger of running out of ammo, I find it hard to justify diverting skill XP that could be used to decrease the average number of shots needed to kill an enemy into being able to effectively cast Leda's... not to mention it would be especially hard to justify the investment before achieving mindelay.

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 8032

Joined: Sunday, 5th May 2013, 08:25

Post Yesterday, 18:10

Re: remove Leda's Liquefaction

Nekoatl wrote:If a description will suffice, I worship Sif Muna and put all stat points into Int. For skills, I first get Conjuration to level 4, then Spellcasting to level 7, then Fire, Air, and Poison to level 1 (I typically don't bother learning Call Imp or Slow initially). Then, I heavily focus Spellcasting, with moderate investment in Dodging and Invocations, and mild investment in magic schools, Fighting, and sometimes Shields.
The issue with this example (as Hellmonk pointed out already) is that this is a really bad strategy. If a spell is useful on characters that were badly built in the first place, that doesn't prove the spell is really useful; it needs to be good on characters that are played well.

Snake Sneak

Posts: 103

Joined: Sunday, 11th September 2016, 17:21

Post Yesterday, 18:34

Re: remove Leda's Liquefaction

Well, I can't blame you for thinking that. Even I didn't expect it to work very well until I actually tried it.

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