Vehumet spell gifts


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Post Sunday, 4th September 2011, 18:09

Vehumet spell gifts

Here's an implementable that should address the fire magic-related Vehumet issues that have been mentioned (and improve the gifting mechanics in general): https://crawl.develz.org/mantis/view.php?id=4504

Another old proposal is to turn bolt of magma into a shotgun-style spell, dealing lots of damage with a large number of pellets at very close range, and spreading out at further ranges. There's no details for that one yet, but it's something I'd quite like to see as well.

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Post Sunday, 4th September 2011, 19:00

Re: Fire Magic is very weak

The proposal for Vehumet is quite interesting; I have a few questions regarding it. (Maybe this should be split off into a separate topic.)

1. What is the reason for no longer supporting summoning? I agree this would be more in keeping with the flavour of Vehumet as the god of direct destruction magic, but it also seems like something of a nerf.

2. Would spells gifted by Vehumet take up normal spell slots or would they be additional and kept in a separate "area of memory?" If the former, it could make things quite awkward. Eg, if Vehumet would give a gift, but you don't have enough spell slots for a high level spell, would he give a lower level one instead, or would the opportunity for a gift be wasted? This would encourage worshippers to spend time with lots of empty spell slots in the hope Vehumet gives them something to fill them.

3. Would gifted spells be lost upon abandoning Vehumet? This would seem like the most sensible option if his spells were in addition to normal spell slots.

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Post Sunday, 4th September 2011, 19:08

Re: Fire Magic is very weak

1. The two schools are a hodgepodge with no real synergy and not even a thematic connection. Currently, Vehumet is celebrated for the conjurational support, that's why the Summoning part disappears. It is true that the summoning style now has a god less, but, on the other hand, Elyvilon might fit that role better with the new proposal https://crawl.develz.org/wiki/doku.php?id=dcss:brainstorm:god:elyvilon. (I know that players are always mortally afraid of nerfs but that's not really a good way to judge proposals.)

2. Normal spell slots. In particular, it's the player's duty to reserve enough free spell slots. What's awkward about this? Of course Vehumet would not gift a spell that needs more spell slots that you have.

3. Abandonment was not settled but yes, those spells should disappear at once.

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Post Sunday, 4th September 2011, 19:59

Re: Fire Magic is very weak

When I said it was awkward, I was partly thinking of the awkwardness of managing slots.. eg I have 6 slots available, should I memorise Haste now, or hope Vehumet offers something I want? It's a bit like Okawaru only giving armour if you aren't wearing anything in that slot already.

I would just find it quite awkward if I had a lot of good spells I wanted to learn but couldn't memorise them because I needed to leave slots for gifts; it would be annoying walking around with an intentionally sub-par spell set because a god demanded it, and seems a bit weird that a god of magic would reward you for learning fewer spells.

But it could also make other aspects of spell management more difficult, eg if he started off by giving low level spells, you would still have them taking up memory slots, but would be more restricted in how to forget them because they did not originally come from a book, so you would not necessarily have the option of destroying the book. This is probably not too bad with the frequency of amnesia scrolls as they are now, but if they were made rarer, it could become a problem.

Maybe when he gives a spell, he should also give the option of forgetting earlier gifts to make room for them - eg if you have only 4 slots spare "Do you wish to upgrade Throw Frost to Bolt of Cold?"

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Post Sunday, 4th September 2011, 20:08

Vehumet spell gifts

One way to deal with the slot limit: Gifts can go over the slot limit, but the last gifted spell can not be cast until you have enough slots. No gifts if you are over the slot limit. This way you could freely fill your slots and still get gifts, then make room by training spellcasting or forgetting other spells once you actually get something you want.

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Jeremiah

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Post Sunday, 4th September 2011, 20:12

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

Yes, these are details which should be fixed once we can play them. Perhaps preemptive planning is a good feature, perhaps it is not. Hard to decide on the green table.
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Post Sunday, 4th September 2011, 20:14

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

Galefury wrote:One way to deal with the slot limit: Gifts can go over the slot limit, but the last gifted spell can not be cast until you have enough slots. No gifts if you are over the slot limit. This way you could freely fill your slots and still get gifts, then make room by training spellcasting or forgetting other spells once you actually get something you want.

Good idea, might work.
What's interesting about the spell gifts is that it makes amnesia more useful, and players might often use floor books as a source of amnesia rather than as a source of spells. That's why I don't like the free upgrade idea.
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Post Sunday, 4th September 2011, 20:18

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

galehar: one idea I suggested (but Marvin tacitly ignored, so he dislikes it) is that Vehumet has a disliking for forgetting by scroll. The thematic reasoning is that (a) Vehumet is a god of destruction and (b) he is your personal teacher and those silly books just impede the teacher-student relation.

It is a probably futile attempt of mine to inject some flavour into Vehumet :)

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Post Sunday, 4th September 2011, 20:50

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

dpeg wrote:It is a probably futile attempt of mine to inject some flavour into Vehumet :)


How about if Vehumet hates the use of destructive wands? You're supposed to be destroying things with Magic and Conjurations From Nothingness and The Pure Arcane Force Of Your Will, not silly little stick toys.

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Post Sunday, 4th September 2011, 23:40

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

dpeg wrote:galehar: one idea I suggested (but Marvin tacitly ignored, so he dislikes it) is that Vehumet has a disliking for forgetting by scroll. The thematic reasoning is that (a) Vehumet is a god of destruction and (b) he is your personal teacher and those silly books just impede the teacher-student relation.

It is a probably futile attempt of mine to inject some flavour into Vehumet :)


I imagine this would just make Vehumet's gifts too annoying to manage: "I'll teach you this spell, which you have not found in a book, but if you accept it you will not be able to forget it unless you *do* find it in a book."

I think there is a danger that there will become little reason to choose Vehumet over Sif Muna. At present, you get a choice between predictable book gifts (Vehumet) or more random books but flexibility with forgetting spells (Sif Muna), while this proposal will mean Vehumet has neither predictability or flexibility.

Maybe for this to work, Vehumet should get a buff elsewhere; for example, he could give a damage enhancement (similar to an enhancer staff) on spells he gifts. In this case, he could still give spells you have already found, but if you learn them through him they would be more powerful. He could similarly offer to "enhance" a spell you already know rather than teach you a new spell, in which case that spell would be treated as if it was a gift and become more powerful.

For flavour reasons, maybe you would also gain more piety for killing with gifted spells, and less (or none) for killing with wands or non-magical means.

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Post Monday, 5th September 2011, 00:09

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

Jeremiah wrote:I think there is a danger that there will become little reason to choose Vehumet over Sif Muna.

See, we get _exactly_ this comment every other time a change is proposed. You're not assuming we take it serious, right?

As examined in the Fire Magic thread https://crawl.develz.org/tavern/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=2477, this change would make Vehumet a lot more attractive to Fire users because you can access all spells rather than a few. Also, it all depends on the numbers: how fast will Vehumet offer spells (with the proposal: really fast), and how good will the spell choice be (as good as we can, while allowing for a feeling of progression)?

Jeremiah wrote:Maybe for this to work, Vehumet should get a buff elsewhere

And this is the other trope.

Sorry for getting so worked up, but this posting was triggering about a dozen deja vus. (The systematic reason behind this kind of clash is, in my opinion, the fact that players/readers/listeners/etc. are often fans and as such pretty conservative about the object of fandom. Designers/writers/composers/etc. are often more interested in shaking things up; this is often very disturbing for the audience. Especially when it's only hearsay like in an announced/discussed design proposal.)

In order to put some positive content into this reply, I'll mention that kilobyte objected slightly to the way the gift is given (he is fine with the principal idea). A mere question is surely not the coolest way to do it (although it is an efficient way to get the idea quickly tested). There are other options. Two that came to my mind:
(1) Give a scroll (think of it as a page from a book) containing the spell. The scroll has to be used quickly or it'll crumble; it will disappear after reading anyway, of course.
(2) Let Vehumet announce that he is ready to dish out another spell, but let the player invoke this, using an ability. This makes the transfer more active. If Vehumet announces the spell he's about to teach the player, then we'd get rid of the spell slot issue: player's choice if he wants to make room for what Vehumet has to offer.

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Post Monday, 5th September 2011, 00:50

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

Overall this seems to be a strict nerf to Vehumet. Spell gain is random. You don't get spell books so you lose a way to forget spells. You lose piety as you learn spells. Vehumet loses all summoning support.

The only benefit is more ways to gain piety and you gain a random spell or two a little earlier.

Then there is an implementation problem. Under this proposal Vehumet gifts stronger spells with more piety. So if you have high piety and want to learn a lower level spell you are out of luck. This could encourage doing things to drop piety so you will be offered lower level spells. One solution is for Vehumet to offer a choice of spells based on piety level. At low piety you are offered 1 weak spell. At medium piety you are offered 1 medium spell and 1 weak spell. At high piety you are offered 1 strong spell, 1 medium spell and 1 weak spell. However, you can only choose one of these.

I have no qualms with changing Vehumet around to conjurations only and spell gifting. The problem is that these changes make Vehumet a weaker god. This means that if these changes go through Vehumet needs to gain one additional thing or else he will be strictly inferior to his current form.

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Post Monday, 5th September 2011, 04:32

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

If these changes do turn out to make Vehumet completely lacking in appeal then sure, we'll consider improving something (and it'll be easier to do so, having improved his mechanics and theme), but by no means do we need to worry about that until there's any actual evidence that it'd make Vehumet too weak.

Note that this would also mean you can consider Vehumet for builds that don't currently have any conjurations but want to branch into them early, for example (the wizardry boost kicks in at the same time as your first gift, too). If the selection of spells to be offered can be handled well, it would also mean you'd reliably be offered strong spells regardless of element (Vehumet currently supports but doesn't gift Airstrike, Tornado, Conjure ball lightning, Bolt of fire, Shatter, Ozocubu's refrigeration... it's not just fire elementalists that this could help).

The idea of offering multiple spells and letting you choose one is more useful feedback though, thanks. It was mentioned briefly when we were brainstorming the implementable - that could definitely be considered, it might be a good way of lessening the burden on the spell selection system. Ideally we can figure out a way to base it on your skills such that you have a pretty good chance of getting something appealing, but maybe offering 2 spells when you get to higher piety levels would be an option (especially since the gifts would be coming less frequently at that point).

Although I'm really not sure it's a problem that you'd be less likely to get low level spells at high piety - earlier gifts should be fairly frequent, meaning lots of lower level spells will already have been offered. If you rejected them, then tough (Vehumet wants you to blow stuff up, not plink it with magic darts). We could also use max piety stars reached as the factor determining spell level cap, meaning you couldn't just sit and wait for a piety decrease to change the gifts even if you wanted to - Vehumet piety will still probably be fairly stable under this system (the proposed piety costs for learning spells start very low and even by level 9 aren't as high as some of the most expensive god abilities, and there's nothing else that costs Vehumet piety), so it probably wouldn't have much of an impact outside that weird case.

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Post Monday, 5th September 2011, 04:45

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

You observed a potential problem in point 4:

"4) When offering a spell, give a prompt along the lines of: "Vehumet offers you knowledge of Magic Dart. Memorise?" (with no failure on memorisation). Once memorised, the spell acts the same as any other, and can be forgotten by scroll or book destruction. Ideally only actually do the gift in low/zero tension, to avoid giving a prompt in combat."

Maybe the best solution would be to make gifted spells only take one turn to memorise. I don't know every thing that influences tension, but I can probably think of some cases where a player would be forced to refuse a gift because of the turns used.
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Post Monday, 5th September 2011, 04:52

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

@mikee

Not to mention giving birth to some "Oh hells ya!" moments when Vehumet decides to gift you just the right spell at just the right time.
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Post Monday, 5th September 2011, 09:23

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

MarvinPA wrote:Here's an implementable that should address the fire magic-related Vehumet issues that have been mentioned (and improve the gifting mechanics in general): https://crawl.develz.org/mantis/view.php?id=4504

Another old proposal is to turn bolt of magma into a shotgun-style spell, dealing lots of damage with a large number of pellets at very close range, and spreading out at further ranges. There's no details for that one yet, but it's something I'd quite like to see as well.


I like the idea of a shotgun-spread spell; a nice way to make a projectile spell a bit more interested. Actually I was thinking about it for my Alchemy gold-to-silver projectile (Silver Shot), thematically because you end up with many roughly coin-sized silver pellets.

Regarding Vehumet: I really don't see how this would make Vehumet significantly less attractive, the passive abilities are already extremely powerful and unique. I see book gifting as a minor convenience; I've never played a game where I didn't find some high-level spellbook, usually all the ones I wanted, and usually well before I was able to cast them. Vehumet/Sif are currently "safe" options in that you are guaranteed to get what you want eventually, this actually somewhat goes against the non-deterministic principle of roguelikes. It's much more interesting to have to adapt and think a little :) If the changes are implemented well, then you'll still be able to build a powerful spellcaster over the course of a game.

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Post Monday, 5th September 2011, 10:09

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

mikee: instant memorisation would be an option. The original proposal tries to take care of the issue with the zero tension rule (of course, you might have zero tension and still no time to learn a spell). If we make Vehumet give you a scroll or just tell you that you can learn the spell, then the issue is solved, too.

ryzol: some more pre-emptive whining, eh?
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Post Monday, 5th September 2011, 10:13

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

This is somewhat out of topic, but if we want to use more tension based effects (like it has been proposed for hell effects), we should try to give it some inertia. That way, 0 tension would be more relevant.
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Post Monday, 5th September 2011, 10:17

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

dpeg wrote:mikee: instant memorisation would be an option. The original proposal tries to take care of the issue with the zero tension rule (of course, you might have zero tension and still no time to learn a spell). If we make Vehumet give you a scroll or just tell you that you can learn the spell, then the issue is solved, too.

ryzol: some more pre-emptive whining, eh?

If memorization is instant, there's no need to tie it to tension. Also, it would keep things consistent with other gifts, which come on piety gain. Overall it's pretty simple this way.

Potentially being gifted spells in combat has an interesting side effect, too. A new spell can be a power boost, and in (very rare) cases vehumet might actually help you win a battle this way.

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Post Monday, 5th September 2011, 10:24

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

evilmike: yes, that's an option. We refrained from this for the first version because having Vehumet utter something while you're casting spells left and right might be disruptive. Of course it'd be very cool if Vehumet happens to hand down exactly the gun you need in a battle.

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Post Monday, 5th September 2011, 10:43

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

dpeg: Sorry I touched on what is obviously a sore spot. I realise there is a tendency towards resistance to change among players, and apologise for falling prey to this myself on this occasion.

Overall, I think it is an interesting proposal and would like to see how it turns out. I don't think it will reduce the popularity of Vehumet much, if at all, because the early start of gifts will be very favourable to wizards, who will possibly get their first gifts just when their starting Magic Dart runs out of steam - perhaps leading some to say he is overpowered and should be nerfed. :P

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Post Monday, 5th September 2011, 11:01

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

I like this suggestion, but doesn't it make the distinction between Sif and Vehumet smaller? It removes Vehumet's unique reliability at getting certain spells at certain times, and also increases the number of spells that Vehumet can gift, making Sif's unlimited book gifts less appealing, at least in certain cases (Airstrike, Tornado, Refrigeration). Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, it's more a statement about how bland Sif is. I certainly think could improve Vehumet's flavour; directly inserting magic into your mind fits more in with his destructive, energetic style of magic compared to Sif's studiousness.

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Post Monday, 5th September 2011, 11:05

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

rabidweasel wrote:I like this suggestion, but doesn't it make the distinction between Sif and Vehumet smaller? It removes Vehumet's unique reliability at getting certain spells at certain times, and also increases the number of spells that Vehumet can gift, making Sif's unlimited book gifts less appealing, at least in certain cases (Airstrike, Tornado, Refrigeration). Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, it's more a statement about how bland Sif is. I certainly think could improve Vehumet's flavour; directly inserting magic into your mind fits more in with his destructive, energetic style of magic compared to Sif's studiousness.


Sif overhaul is a separate issue, and as I understand there is at least one proposal in the works. But in my opinion this change differentiates them more; instead of two different flavours of book gifts, Vehumet has an entirely different mechanism.
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Post Saturday, 10th September 2011, 15:57

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

The spell gifts could always be predictable and just ignore whatever books you find.
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Post Sunday, 11th September 2011, 00:14

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

The best thing about Vehumet's gifts is that they are predictable and reliable - much like Kiku's, you can plan your character around certain spells which you can count on getting after a certain time. The changes proposed murder Vehumet's reliability and turn his gifting into a crappier version of Sif's - which is already unreliable enough for my tastes. Higher timeout for rejecting a spell makes it even more unreliable - do you take whatever higher-level damage spell you can get now at the cost of arguably having to pass up on the chance of picking the one you really wanted a bit later, or do you refuse and risk having to wait a lot longer for another *chance* at it, which is by no means guaranteed?

I'd never pick this Vehumet over Sif, and I really, really, really hate Sif.
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Post Sunday, 11th September 2011, 00:35

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

ebarrett: My comments to Jeremiah apply exactly to you.

Of course will players always go for the reliable stuff. And of course we're fully entitled to randomise. And we will inevitably get the "I will never again use [feature to be changed]." reply (or, for more excited natures: "I won't play [next version]."). You know what? We don't care, we're improving the game.

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Post Sunday, 11th September 2011, 00:56

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

I for one think Vehumet lacks personality at the moment and I love the idea for the distinction between Sif and Veh, with Sif wanting you to amass a huge library of arcane power that will leave you with any spell you wish at your fingertips, and Vehumet focusing on an "innate" learning of spells that are most suited to his worldview.

Far better than both gifting you a series of books with just the types of books changed.

For those hating the randomness I could also see Vehumet giving you a choice of, say, three spells at every memorisation prompt, but forcing you to learn one of them. Whether this is a good idea or not is left as an exercise to the devs.

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Post Sunday, 11th September 2011, 01:10

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

ebarrett wrote:The best thing about Vehumet's gifts is that they are predictable and reliable - much like Kiku's, you can plan your character around certain spells which you can count on getting after a certain time. The changes proposed murder Vehumet's reliability and turn his gifting into a crappier version of Sif's - which is already unreliable enough for my tastes. Higher timeout for rejecting a spell makes it even more unreliable - do you take whatever higher-level damage spell you can get now at the cost of arguably having to pass up on the chance of picking the one you really wanted a bit later, or do you refuse and risk having to wait a lot longer for another *chance* at it, which is by no means guaranteed?

I'd never pick this Vehumet over Sif, and I really, really, really hate Sif.


It wouldn't be difficult at all to guarantee that you'll get the spells you want, even with some randomization. What do you really want from the divine gifts when you go Vehumet?

1) a big blast to kill bad guys with that matches your main elemental skill
2) a big blast that hurts bad guys resistant to your main elemental skill
3) a big blast that hits bad guys standing in the back behind the other guys
4) a cloud or cloud-like effect that kills lots of weaker bad guys cheaply
5) Abjuration

Throw in a weak blast spell for that one player who insists on trying to go Vehumet with a fighter, and maybe an endgame L9 super-spell because it's cool, and you've got a series of allegedly random gifts that nevertheless always cover all the bases.
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Post Sunday, 11th September 2011, 01:30

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

dpeg wrote:Of course will players always go for the reliable stuff. And of course we're fully entitled to randomise. And we will inevitably get the "I will never again use [feature to be changed]." reply (or, for more excited natures: "I won't play [next version]."). You know what? We don't care, we're improving the game.

My major complaint is that the new Vehumet gifting might be too similar to Sif's. Randomisation isn't bad but having the two gods that will gift conjurations do it (semi-)randomly looks rather questionable. I know that the Sif/Veh balance issues go way back, and I think that making them more alike is a huge step backwards and that answering that you "don't care" to that shows me that I put more faith in the devteam than I should.

Vehumet currently being a bad choice for fire magic users is a side effect of conjurer starting books being merged and completely remaking Vehumet's gifting to make up for it is a rather dramatic decision. A rather drastic option that doesn't make Sif/Veh gifting too similar would be to make Vehumet gift the player all destructive spells (by whatever means), and Sif either give everything but destructive spells, or be very heavily biased against giving destructive spells (low chance, level cap, and maybe give her some other buff to offset this). Sure, that would result in whining from another crowd, but you can just pick the complaints you care the less about as a reference for what to do.



KoboldLord wrote:It wouldn't be difficult at all to guarantee that you'll get the spells you want, even with some randomization. What do you really want from the divine gifts when you go Vehumet?

Guaranteed specific spells at rather predictable times, of course. Compare to Sif who is often a bit too late - and might even never give you whatever spells you chose her for. Sure, Vehumet being restricted to destructive spells means he probably will eventually gift you everything in his portfolio during a game (unlike the misleading "eventually gifting you every spell in the game" Sif propaganda), but again - will he gift you the spells you need/want when you need/want them? Certainly it's possible to balance that but "refusing a spell = longer timeout" currently points towards more annoyance than balance.



mad wrote:For those hating the randomness I could also see Vehumet giving you a choice of, say, three spells at every memorisation prompt, but forcing you to learn one of them. Whether this is a good idea or not is left as an exercise to the devs.

That is a good idea, except that forcing you to learn one is horrible. But giving a choice between multiple spells would justify Vehumet being pissed and throwing a longer timeout at the player after a refusal.
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Post Sunday, 11th September 2011, 03:08

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

do you take whatever higher-level damage spell you can get now at the cost of arguably having to pass up on the chance of picking the one you really wanted a bit later, or do you refuse and risk having to wait a lot longer for another *chance* at it, which is by no means guaranteed?

That sounds like exactly the sort of decision that it'd be good to introduce, yes. Glad you agree. :)

I play Veh conjurers quite frequently - I enjoy them, but they all turn out almost exactly the same, with near-identical spell sets as soon as the books start showing up. I hope nobody would argue that making characters more diverse is a bad thing.

And I still don't see any problems that have been raised that wouldn't be fixed by an appropriate method of picking spells to gift. Perhaps everyone is skipping over the facts that the spell gifting would take your skills into account, and most of all would gift spells both earlier and more frequently?
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Post Sunday, 11th September 2011, 03:24

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

I do like the idea of earlier spells. As a noobie I never get spell books from Sif and Vehemut, so I've defaulted to Kiku for guaranteed access to early spells - Of course this limits me to Necro, but Necro is a nice one size fits all school.
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Post Sunday, 11th September 2011, 04:22

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

ebarrett wrote:Guaranteed specific spells at rather predictable times, of course. Compare to Sif who is often a bit too late - and might even never give you whatever spells you chose her for. Sure, Vehumet being restricted to destructive spells means he probably will eventually gift you everything in his portfolio during a game (unlike the misleading "eventually gifting you every spell in the game" Sif propaganda), but again - will he gift you the spells you need/want when you need/want them? Certainly it's possible to balance that but "refusing a spell = longer timeout" currently points towards more annoyance than balance.


Vehumet can still be made to guarantee specific spell functions at predictable times, if that is desired, even without the convention of a spellbook item. Off the top of my head, you could get these spell gifts:

on conversion: Magic Dart
* piety: Throw Flame, Throw Frost, Stone Arrow, Shock
** piety: Mystic Blast
*** piety: Sticky Flame, Throw Icicle, Iron Shot, Airstrike
**** piety: Bolt of Fire, Bolt of Cold, Rapid Deconstruction, Lightning Bolt
***** piety: Orb of Destruction
****** piety: repeat from a grab bag of thematic spells, not necessarily matching your skills at this point, but guaranteeing whatever late-game spell you need eventually

The choices for the first several spell gifts are based on your elemental skills, and guarantee that you fill in your critical boom spells at early and predictable times. Freezing Cloud or Fire Storm might take a while, since they're not even in rotation until full piety and they might not come up quickly, but you don't really need them quickly anyway.

Actually, this Vehumet would probably be significantly better than the current Vehumet, since you wouldn't have to chain piety to start getting gifts, but it's enough to illustrate the point. Vehumet can be reliable without being completely the same every game regardless of how you start.

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Post Sunday, 11th September 2011, 15:56

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

ebarrett: Okay, so you did read the whole thread. Good.

Note that ending a posting with "I will never use Foo again." is hurting your cause, no matter how careful everything else in your posting is. See below.

Regarding the current issue: Currently, Vehumet gives a very limited amount of books, and quite fast. This makes for very streamlined Vehumet worshipers, as MarvinPA has pointed out already. We don't want that. On top of this, there are spells Vehumet misses, thereby hurting certain builds (and the spells). By the way, the proposal did not originate from trying to compensate for the starting spellbook merge. The starting point is to make Vehumet more interesting, and reduce the number of guaranteed gifts. (It might be interesting to know that Sif Muna used to gift spellbooks in a very deterministic fashion, but we did address that already.)

The other point is that gifting spells can create a completely new type of choices, as MarvinPA pointed out, too. The first proposal had a drawback, whcih is my fault and for which I apologise (players having to manage empty spell slots for future Vehumet gifts). I suggest, as mentioned in the reply to Jeremiah, that Vehumet simply announces having another gift, and the player can dedice whether/when to use it. In particular, the player has time to free up memory slots for the new spell.

minmay: I did give the explanation and I am only giving it again because I made a mistake in the the original proposal. (I believe that developers should respond to players' questions and complaints and preemptive whining but only once. There is no point in doing it again, like I do now.) It is impossible to state at this point that "Vehumet will be weaker than Sif Muna". All of this depends on implementation details that are not specified! If Vehumet spells come earlier and more frequently, the god will be stronger than now -- not to mention guaranteed spells or spell choice. I have read "Foo will be useless" too often to put any meaning into the statement anymore.
Also, anyone who's been around for more than just one or two versions should know that we will address shortcomings. If a new feature turns out to be too weak, we will boost it, there is no question about that.
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Snake Sneak

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Post Friday, 16th September 2011, 01:06

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

I use Vehmy a lot and I think this is an interesting idea.

Right now, getting spells from Vehmy takes time. If going the blaster route, I am usually only interested in the 2nd (Power), 3rd (Annihilation) and 5th (the one with Abjur and Shadow Creatures) books. I usually cannot get the 2nd book until mid-end Lair. But by the time I finish Orc/Hive, I often have the 5th book and can care less about keeping Vehmy's piety way up there. As long as she's happy enough to keep feeding me mp and range boosts, I am good.

To me, this proposal seems to both weaken and strengthen Vehmy. The upside is that I can now get spells much faster. Seriously, I get spells at 1-2 stars instead of 6? Gimme! The downside is that Abjur and Shadow Critters are no longer guaranteed. Relying on the RNGs for the former sucks. Relying on the RNGs for the latter is not a huge deal.

I like the idea of having Vehmy offer you a couple choices: e.g., you get Dart, Freeze or Sting. If three choices is too much, maybe go with 2.

With respect to the spell slot issue, I don't have a problem with forcing players to keep enough slots free. That's the price you pay for power!

Alternatively, you can give the player a choice to forget one (and only one) spell when getting a Vehmy gift. To make it more interesting, you might even have Vehmy extract a price for this service--e.g., some kind of conj miscast. :twisted:

Overall, I think this would be a fun addition. Cheers!
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Shoals Surfer

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Post Tuesday, 20th September 2011, 17:35

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

From what I have read, in .10 abjure is no longer a "necessary" spell. Shadow critters is useful, but how soon do you really need it?
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Post Saturday, 1st October 2011, 05:51

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

KoboldLord wrote:on conversion: Magic Dart
* piety: Throw Flame, Throw Frost, Stone Arrow, Shock
** piety: Mystic Blast
*** piety: Sticky Flame, Throw Icicle, Iron Shot, Airstrike
**** piety: Bolt of Fire, Bolt of Cold, Rapid Deconstruction, Lightning Bolt
***** piety: Orb of Destruction
****** piety: repeat from a grab bag of thematic spells, not necessarily matching your skills at this point, but guaranteeing whatever late-game spell you need eventually


I really like this idea. Though... personally I'd have it like this:

* flame tongue, magic dart, shock, sting
** throw frost, throw flame
*** stone arrow, conjure flame, meph cloud, static discharge
**** mystic blast, sticky flame
***** bolt of magma, lightning bolt, poisonous cloud, venom bolt
****** level 7 spells, then level 8 spells, then level 9 spells, then the gifts stop completely.

At the moment though Sif Muna is better than Vehumet simply because of channeling. You can win with whatever spells you find rather easily and channeling helps you out of so many tight situations. If you want to improve Vehement I don't think changing his gifts will matter much. The only thing he DOES have going for him at the moment is guaranteed gifts so please don't take that from him and use some random thing based on your skills or whatever.

You know what would make ME chose Vehumet over Sif Muna? Have Vehumet make my spells do more damage! An additional 1D(Piety/some_balanced_number) damage on every spell I cast would be crazy fun. If you want to do more damage, go Vehumet. If you want to channel, go Sif Muna. The gifts don't really matter as you find almost every spell eventually anyway.
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Blades Runner

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Post Saturday, 1st October 2011, 07:41

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

snow wrote:You know what would make ME chose Vehumet over Sif Muna? Have Vehumet make my spells do more damage! An additional 1D(Piety/some_balanced_number) damage on every spell I cast would be crazy fun.


he already gives you wizardry, increases range and reduces MP cost, and gives you MP on kills on top of it.

KoboldLord wrote:on conversion: Magic Dart
* piety: Throw Flame, Throw Frost, Stone Arrow, Shock
** piety: Mystic Blast
*** piety: Sticky Flame, Throw Icicle, Iron Shot, Airstrike
**** piety: Bolt of Fire, Bolt of Cold, Rapid Deconstruction, Lightning Bolt
***** piety: Orb of Destruction
****** piety: repeat from a grab bag of thematic spells, not necessarily matching your skills at this point, but guaranteeing whatever late-game spell you need eventually


this is sensible (well, a bit too strong, the gifts could start a bit later). summonings (if you want to keep it) is more of a mess though, given the many schools involved.
Wins: DDBe (3 runes, morgue file)

Snake Sneak

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Post Saturday, 1st October 2011, 11:24

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

What if Vehumet forced player to use only conjurations\summonnigs with penance for using other schools? He is a god of destructive magic after all, he may dislike wasting MP on escape\buffs... Then we can make him stronger in supporting blasty playstyle, and he will be very different to Sif

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Post Saturday, 1st October 2011, 12:31

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

snow wrote:At the moment though Sif Muna is better than Vehumet simply because of channeling. You can win with whatever spells you find rather easily and channeling helps you out of so many tight situations. If you want to improve Vehement I don't think changing his gifts will matter much. The only thing he DOES have going for him at the moment is guaranteed gifts so please don't take that from him and use some random thing based on your skills or whatever.

You know what would make ME chose Vehumet over Sif Muna? Have Vehumet make my spells do more damage! An additional 1D(Piety/some_balanced_number) damage on every spell I cast would be crazy fun. If you want to do more damage, go Vehumet. If you want to channel, go Sif Muna. The gifts don't really matter as you find almost every spell eventually anyway.


What you say? Vehumet also provides a range boost, wizardry, mp-for-kills, and a discount on all your combat spells. Even after the gifts are no longer relevant, she's one of the best caster deities just on the basis of her passive abilities. There is no need to improve Vehumet.

The purpose of Vehumet's gifts is currently to ensure that if you choose Vehumet you can play the advertised playstyle. If you're unlucky, you won't get any mid-level combat spells from floor drops until you've already been forced to convert to some other build, so you get a couple guaranteed spellbooks to tide you over. As long as you get that basic need covered, the difference between spellbook gifts and direct spell gifts is mostly flavor.

absolutego wrote:this is sensible (well, a bit too strong, the gifts could start a bit later).


Yeah… There weren't all that many discrete piety levels to divide the spells into. It's also possible to slow down piety gain, though, so you don't hit ****** before Lair 3 just from normal play. It definitely wouldn't do to gift spells that are completely useless because it isn't remotely plausible to have skills high enough to cast them when you get them.

Strongpoint wrote:What if Vehumet forced player to use only conjurations\summonnigs with penance for using other schools? He is a god of destructive magic after all, he may dislike wasting MP on escape\buffs... Then we can make him stronger in supporting blasty playstyle, and he will be very different to Sif


Currently, Chei gives penance only for casting Haste and Swiftness, and in exchange gives a full suite of resistances, +15 to all stats, and provides several active abilities including a tactical nuclear weapon. On balance, this exchange makes Chei the weakest deity choice except Xom.

Vehumet's wrath is MUCH worse than Cheibriados' wrath. I cannot even attempt to conceive of the bonuses you'd have to give Vehumet in exchange for summoning permanent hostile high-level demons whenever you try to cast support spells.

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Post Saturday, 1st October 2011, 13:36

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

KoboldLord wrote:Currently, Chei gives penance only for casting Haste and Swiftness, and in exchange gives a full suite of resistances, +15 to all stats, and provides several active abilities including a tactical nuclear weapon. On balance, this exchange makes Chei the weakest deity choice except Xom.

Vehumet's wrath is MUCH worse than Cheibriados' wrath. I cannot even attempt to conceive of the bonuses you'd have to give Vehumet in exchange for summoning permanent hostile high-level demons whenever you try to cast support spells.


Well, Chei also forces you to move very slowly for that +15 to all stats, No haste and swiftness only add to that, if Chei Allowed you to move with normal speed, allowed to use artifacts, provided all his buffs and only banned haste and swiftness then he would be a supergod. So your comparsion is clearly wrong

As for Wrath... Trog's wrath isn't nice either, but berserker is a powerful background even without nukes and unlimited meatshields.

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Post Saturday, 1st October 2011, 20:58

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

In response to the idea of Vehumet giving spells under tension.
bobross419 wrote:Not to mention giving birth to some "Oh hells ya!" moments when Vehumet decides to gift you just the right spell at just the right time.


I love it. Very cool. Vehumet wants you to destroy things. It would be flavorful for her to give gifts primarily/only during tension. If this happens then "divine memorization" should be instant.

This all is looking really good.

If Vehumet's MP regeneration goes, I'd encourage creative MP regeneration evokables, a la ambrosia. (Not that ambrosia's perfect, but at least it's interesting!)

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Post Sunday, 2nd October 2011, 00:43

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

I agree with minmay. The idea of tension is not to create a perfect numerical account of "threat", that is impossible.
So for Vehume spell gifts, I'd suggest to simply not care about tension at all. Vehumet offers a new spell when he's ready. Sometimes this will happen before, in or after a battle and will feel all the better because of this.

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Post Sunday, 2nd October 2011, 02:33

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

I suppose it wouldn't be any particular trouble to ensure that while gifts are more often given during tension that being in tension does not cause more gifting -- rather tension is just the trigger that released a gift already earned via traditional piety/clock stuff. I'm not sure what the issue is. Anyway, it's a shame it wouldn't work because it would be pretty flavorful.

Hmmm. Gaming the tension system.... Interesting idea. I'm curious - how might it be done?

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Post Sunday, 2nd October 2011, 04:07

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

Vehumet already gifts during high tension, most of the time. You get piety from killing monsters, and those monsters produce tension until you kill them. You slowly lose piety when not killing monsters, so if you're sitting around outside of tension you're getting farther away from the next gift, not closer. The only time you're not in a fight when you get a Vehumet gift is when that last monster happens to push you over the top, in which case you're surrounded by a mountain of charred corpses, which should also merit Vehumet's approval.

So, yeah. Status quo is fine, at least with respect to the specific timing of gifts. No real need to special case it.

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Post Sunday, 2nd October 2011, 04:50

Re: Vehumet spell gifts

Except that currently gifts are more likely to come after a tense situation than before or during! But yes, good point.

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