Remove confusing touch


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bel

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Post Friday, 16th August 2019, 10:08

Re: Remove confusing touch

Confusing touch duration is roughly 100 / (HD + 5) auts on average. The value is very concentrated around the mean. Keep in mind that the monster is immediately confused when you succeed, so if you swing your weapon with 7 aut delay, those 7 auts can't be used to damage the monster. So the "real" duration is 100 / (HD + 5) - 7.

More generally, one should keep in mind that confused monsters have their damage essentially reduced to 1/3 their normal (melee) damage, and it reduces the spell damage to zero. So, depending on the value of your damage, monster's damage, your HP and monster's HP, there is a fairly large domain where using confusing touch is pretty good. I had planned to run some fsim tests but I didn't get the time. Soon, maybe.

The reason why confusing touch isn't used as much as it should is because it doesn't directly kill the monster and is somewhat annoying to use (less now than it used to be). How many people use Slow often? Slow is really good: it has LoS range, reduces monster speed by 33% for a really long time and has a spellpower bonus so it often easily overcomes monster MR. Apparently, many people think that Slow is the worst lvl 2 spell, which is completely bonkers, imo. To be fair, there are a lot of good lvl 2 spells (confusing touch used to be lvl 2 as well).

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Post Friday, 16th August 2019, 14:32

Re: Remove confusing touch

Slow isn't exactly amazing, but it's silly to rate as the worst level 2.

The factors of evasion and shields complicate the CT evaluation. So does the presence of additional monsters, which makes following up/killing the confused monsters less reliable. The former favors using CT, latter favors not using it. Mephitic is obviously better when target is susceptible to poison, but many aren't.

I'm still not seeing why the game is better for removing the spell. That it isn't obvious when it's useful in varied situations/requires thought should be an argument for it rather than against it. I do think you could reasonably nerf it to require actually attacking the enemy (no riposte/auto aux confuses). Pushing its level up a bit seems reasonable too, as I mentioned earlier. That way you have to somewhat invest to use it, which makes it more build-situational than now.

But removing it entirely? Seems a bit much.
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Post Friday, 16th August 2019, 19:09

Re: Remove confusing touch

Slow isn't exactly amazing, but it's silly to rate as the worst level 2.
You can't just say that without offering a lamb to the slaughter. What, in your opinion, is the level 2 spell worse then slow?

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Post Friday, 16th August 2019, 19:35

Re: Remove confusing touch

braveplatypus wrote:
Slow isn't exactly amazing, but it's silly to rate as the worst level 2.
You can't just say that without offering a lamb to the slaughter. What, in your opinion, is the level 2 spell worse then slow?


I'd grade song of slaying and throw flame/frost as a bit worse. The former intentionally creates a sub-ideal scenario in many cases and is annoying to use in general, the latter two are reasonable but weak-ish damage spells that quickly get phased out. Slow is annoying too, but it's a kiting bonanza and its utility lasts longer than flame/frost.

Admittedly, level 2 spells are pretty strong in general. Even the annoying ones like SoS, corpse rot, shroud of Golubria, and slow are still pretty useful. I also dislike ensorcelled hibernation, too finicky and weak power-capped, but I'm not sure it's actually worse than slow. Depends on context.
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Post Sunday, 18th August 2019, 09:59

Re: Remove confusing touch

In general, I don't get debuffs in Crawl. I mean, I get them when they come from a non-renewable resource (wands) or cannot be spammed (piety), or when they are side-effects that make a certain spell stronger (ice on cold-blooded creatures).

But why let players spam a spell like slow? Isn't it better to just play as a Spriggan?

CT would be OK as a potion, or a god power, and, in these cases, it should lose the limitation to hand-to-hand.
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Post Sunday, 18th August 2019, 20:02

Re: Remove confusing touch

You can think of most of the debuff spells as a different form of damage spell. Stone arrow has a chance of killing the monster each cast, which increases with each cast (since the previous casts whittled down its health). Ensorcelled hibernation has a chance of "killing" the monster each cast, and that chance is independent of previous casts. In both cases you "kill" a monster by casting the spell some number of times, but with EH the number of casts it will take is much more variable. This is potentially an interesting difference. I don't have any love for the process of "finishing" confused or petrified monsters though.

This is a good illustration of why confusing touch is broken: to effectively use most conjurations or Ensorcelled Hibernation or Confuse or Petrify against big monsters, you need correspondingly big spell power. Confusing Touch confuses everything just fine at 10 power, and it's a level 1 spell so it's not even significantly gated by spell success like Agony or Conjure Ball Lightning. If you look at the direct damage spells that have been the most problematic over the years, most of them are either cloud spells or sticky flame, and a common thread between all of those is that they work great even with no spell power, which lets them be cast with less investment than these sorts of spells are supposed to require.

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Post Sunday, 18th August 2019, 20:13

Re: Remove confusing touch

duvessa: I am really not an expert on these spells, but I believe your analysis. However, isn't a logical move would be to make the spell more dependent on spellpower? It does not sound hard to come up with a formula.

As a start, we could remove confusing touch's dependence on HD.

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Post Sunday, 18th August 2019, 22:47

Re: Remove confusing touch

You could increase the HD cap with spell power. Removing the HD dependence would ruin the spell. Example of dependence on spell power:

Chance per hit = (f-HD) / f
Where f depends on spell power

If I was running a branch, I think I'd change CT to a level 7-9 permacharm. (Removing the damage reduction)

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Post Monday, 19th August 2019, 00:35

Re: Remove confusing touch

Would making it check MR instead of HD ruin the spell?

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Post Monday, 19th August 2019, 16:16

Re: Remove confusing touch

duvessa wrote:Would making it check MR instead of HD ruin the spell?


Yes, since it's mostly a go-to for stabbers against a wide swath of randomly super-high MR or magic-immune monsters. These are surprisingly common and many player spells + hexing wands already interact with MR. CT would have no practical appeal over confuse if it was MR check.

Its current form gives it some incentive for use instead of the long-range confuse spell. I wouldn't mind its HD formula depending on spell power to push potential HD of impacted monster higher, and making it level 3. Dazzling spray could reasonably be given this treatment too. Doing this avoids the issue of players thinking it's a good idea to memorize it on their bruiser in plate mail.

This does imply that HD interactions should be more transparent in-game. That's probably a good idea anyway, given how it influences monster damage, how draining brand/spells interact with it, and how it interacts with Beogh followers etc.

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Post Monday, 19th August 2019, 20:25

Re: Remove confusing touch

The proper fix is probably to make confusing touch check MR and scale with spellpower.

Then you go though, and you give a number to some of these early-mid game, low-mid hd magic immune monsters that stabbers are relying on confusing touch to deal with.
I might even go with some blanket, stupid rule like, if you're not >21 hd lose the mr immune.
I *would* suggest keeping it on appropriate low hd monsters like mana viper, but logical magic eating monsters like mana vipers don't even have mr immune. It's all giga ac, hit like truck, degenerates with immunity lists longer then a hedgehog protagonist from fanfiction.net. Calling out dancing weapons, elementals, and crystal guardians.

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Post Tuesday, 20th August 2019, 15:37

Re: Remove confusing touch

braveplatypus wrote:The proper fix is probably to make confusing touch check MR and scale with spellpower.

Then you go though, and you give a number to some of these early-mid game, low-mid hd magic immune monsters that stabbers are relying on confusing touch to deal with.
I might even go with some blanket, stupid rule like, if you're not >21 hd lose the mr immune.
I *would* suggest keeping it on appropriate low hd monsters like mana viper, but logical magic eating monsters like mana vipers don't even have mr immune. It's all giga ac, hit like truck, degenerates with immunity lists longer then a hedgehog protagonist from fanfiction.net. Calling out dancing weapons, elementals, and crystal guardians.


I'm not convinced that is superior to the present model. The reason is that if you scrap MR/immunity and make using MR checks to hex monsters practical for confusing touch, you now have a much larger range of monsters that can simply be hexed from range.

Right now, CT's ability to bypass the resists of poison and MR is the only thing that makes it appealing to use over mephitic cloud and the confuse spell in most cases. Strip that and there's almost never any incentive to enter melee range before attempting the hex.

Tampering with MR gives significant balance risks to multiple spells, and I'm not sure CT is actually dominant enough to merit that kind of rework. As an aside, so long as it's going to be used still I would like to see "HD" rebranded as something like "toughness" and displayed similarly to AC/EV. It could even copy the ++++ notation rather than just giving a number if desired. It's a bit more intuitive than "hit dice".

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Post Tuesday, 20th August 2019, 16:11

Re: Remove confusing touch

There's also no reason it can't scale effectiveness with spellpower *and also* target HD, I mean it's bad that HD is opaque and also meaningful in some circumstances, but that's true regardless of whether CT exists or not.

Whether it targets HD or MR is separate from whether it should scale with spellpower.
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Post Tuesday, 20th August 2019, 19:32

Re: Remove confusing touch

TheMeInTeam wrote:
duvessa wrote:Would making it check MR instead of HD ruin the spell?


Yes, since it's mostly a go-to for stabbers against a wide swath of randomly super-high MR or magic-immune monsters.
Then the spell is already ruined, because monster HD closely corresponds to monster MR. There really aren't many monsters with low HD but high MR, and vice versa, and even fewer that are actually relevant threats.
The situations where Confusing Touch are better than Confuse aren't situations where there's something special and magical about checking HD versus checking MR; they're situations where Confusing Touch is more likely to succeed than Confuse. Changing Confusing Touch to check MR would only get rid of such situations if you gave it the same or lower enchantment power than Confuse, which nobody has suggested. Sure it gets rid of the ability to confuse toenail golems and orbs of fire, but I don't think being able to debuff monsters that are supposedly debuff-immune is a good feature in the first place.

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Post Tuesday, 20th August 2019, 22:53

Re: Remove confusing touch

duvessa wrote:
TheMeInTeam wrote: it's mostly a go-to for stabbers against a wide swath of randomly super-high MR or magic-immune monsters.
Then the spell is already ruined, because monster HD closely corresponds to monster MR. There really aren't many monsters with low HD but high MR, and vice versa


That's actually not true, there's a pretty odd set of mismatches between MR and HD for a fair amount of the game, having just played through a stabber with both spells starting from early in the game, there was no rhyme or reason why one thing should be hard to confuse, but easy to CT, but there's quite a large number of such creatures, a significant portion of which are reasonably threatening, it's everything from death yaks, to Naga warriors/Nagaraja, to Rakasha, to spriggan druids/air mages, to point out a a few ones I remember off hand.

Even among creatures of similar types with similar HD, the MR can vary pretty widely, take Reapers, Tier 2 demon, 14 HD, 100 MR vs Blizzard demons, Tier 2 demon, 12 HD, 140 MR, or Balrug, Tier 2 demon, 14 HD, 160 MR..

To make it even weirder, nether HD nor MR is reasonably related to something's actual *danger* level

I'm not saying it should be that way, but it is so.

Additionally I found myself using CT over Confuse when things were close to melee range, even when the chances were slightly in favor of Confuse, because my dagger swung faster than my confuse could be cast for multiple attempts, so when there was a decent failure chance (say over 50% or so) casting CT once and swinging my dagger of speed a bunch of times was preferable to casting confuse several times, even if the CT chances were say 30% to Confuse's 40%, ignoring the MP difference (because it was mostly irrelevant)

Also CT can be cast when the thing is out of LOS which makes it more useful than it would appear at first glance.

That doesn't even mention things which are either magic-immune, or just REALLY hard to confuse, that it's possible, however difficult, to land CT on (I was CT'ing liches and titans, because I had a fast enough swing that 11% was a reasonable success chance, and Confuse wasn't even an option)

I'm not saying it's a *good* mechanic, at all, it's kind of horribly communicated, and weird, but there's no arguing that there's a healthy set of creatures who you are better off using CT on than Confuse if your objective is to get them confused so you can stab them.

The percentage of critters who it was better for me to use CT on rather than confuse was something like 30% or so all the way through the depths/vaults.
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Post Wednesday, 21st August 2019, 16:27

Re: Remove confusing touch

Then the spell is already ruined, because monster HD closely corresponds to monster MR. There really aren't many monsters with low HD but high MR, and vice versa, and even fewer that are actually relevant threats.


That's not true by a long shot.

The earlier example of death yaks immediately comes to mind. But CT can also work on gold/storm/shadow dragons, purple draconians, several tier 1 fiends (others are too high HD), deep elf sorcs/annihilators/etc, spriggans, skeletal warriors, etc...and that's just stuff that immediately comes to mind. All of these enemies have MR such that confusion is impractical while your per-turn chance of CT is reasonable. There are some obvious disadvantages to being in melee with these monsters as a tradeoff.

It's quite a reach to claim the spell is "ruined" because "HD and MR closely correspond".

- A skeletal warrior has 10 HD and 100 MR
- An ettin has 12 HD and 40 MR
- Gold dragon has 18 HD and 180 MR
- Death cob has 14 HD and 40 MR
- Death yak has 14 HD but 100 MR
- Curse toe has 14 HD but is *magic immune*

These don't correspond nearly as tightly as you imply. It takes a lot of spell power to break 100 MR with confuse. Even at max power 180 is unrealistic.

Sure it gets rid of the ability to confuse toenail golems and orbs of fire, but I don't think being able to debuff monsters that are supposedly debuff-immune is a good feature in the first place.


It is already impossible to confuse OOFs with CT. Same for ancient liches. Tentacled monstrosity technically could be but it's a really bad idea to try it, % wise.

I don't see an issue with confusing a toenail golem. Those things have 9 HD and a bizarre range of resists. It's not clear why the ability to debuff them is a problem.

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Post Wednesday, 21st August 2019, 18:07

Re: Remove confusing touch

TheMeInTeam wrote:But CT can also work on gold/storm/shadow dragons, purple draconians, several tier 1 fiends (others are too high HD), deep elf sorcs/annihilators/etc, spriggans, skeletal warriors, etc...and that's just stuff that immediately comes to mind. All of these enemies have MR such that confusion is impractical while your per-turn chance of CT is reasonable.
Again, you can preserve this just fine with MR-checking Confusing Touch, just by giving it higher enchantment power than Confuse. That's how Agony makes itself worth using over Confuse, and that can be how Confusing Touch makes itself worth using over Confuse.
TheMeInTeam wrote:It's quite a reach to claim the spell is "ruined" because "HD and MR closely correspond".
You claim the spell would be "ruined" if it checked MR. I'm claiming it wouldn't be ruined, because the set of monsters where it's better than Confuse would remain largely the same as long as you gave it higher enchantment power than Confuse.

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Post Wednesday, 21st August 2019, 19:44

Re: Remove confusing touch

duvessa wrote:
TheMeInTeam wrote:It's quite a reach to claim the spell is "ruined" because "HD and MR closely correspond".
You claim the spell would be "ruined" if it checked MR. I'm claiming it wouldn't be ruined, because the set of monsters where it's better than Confuse would remain largely the same as long as you gave it higher enchantment power than Confuse.

TheMeInTeam wrote:- A skeletal warrior has 10 HD and 100 MR
- An ettin has 12 HD and 40 MR
- Gold dragon has 18 HD and 180 MR
- Death cob has 14 HD and 40 MR
- Death yak has 14 HD but 100 MR
- Curse toe has 14 HD but is *magic immune*

This section of TheMeInTeam's post seems to largely discredit your reply to his post.

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Post Wednesday, 21st August 2019, 20:18

Re: Remove confusing touch

Confusing Touch with a higher enchantment power than Confuse would remain better than Confuse against skeletal warriors, golden dragons, and death yaks. It would remain worse than good-spell-power Confuse against ettins and death cobs.

It would cease to be better than Confuse against curse toes and other magic-immune monsters, but I don't think that would ruin the spell.

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Post Wednesday, 21st August 2019, 20:27

Re: Remove confusing touch

Again, you can preserve this just fine with MR-checking Confusing Touch, just by giving it higher enchantment power than Confuse. That's how Agony makes itself worth using over Confuse, and that can be how Confusing Touch makes itself worth using over Confuse.


If you do that, it will have a much nearer to 100% success rate against things like ettins, making it substantially safer to attempt in those contexts than it is right now. I don't consider this a positive or necessary change compared to its present ability to confuse the MR-immune monsters with low enough HD for it to be relevant.

There's also a nice bit of symmetry to have access to things bypassing MR like monsters get.

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Post Saturday, 22nd February 2020, 05:08

Re: Remove confusing touch

I haven't had a chance to play much DCSS lately (too much Slaying the Spire), but it seems confusing touch has been nerfed to be lvl 3 and also to check MR instead of HD.

Anyone played around with it to see how it's going?

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Post Saturday, 22nd February 2020, 16:23

Re: Remove confusing touch

A small note, I like the idea of having a very powerful, very short-ranged spell. It's not clear that Confusing Touch should be it. It's just that I don't think any other spell feels that niche.
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Post Saturday, 22nd February 2020, 19:24

Re: Remove confusing touch

From today's blog post:

"Confusing Touch is now level 3 and checks MR instead of monster HD. Additionally, the Confuse spell has been removed. Now there’s exactly one “confuse exactly one thing” spell and it’s not so overpowered."

I personally am not a big fan of old CT because it was pretty cumbersome to use (free hand, casting time, try to hit target). Was this aspect addressed?
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Post Saturday, 22nd February 2020, 22:54

Re: Remove confusing touch

Shtopit wrote:From today's blog post:

"Confusing Touch is now level 3 and checks MR instead of monster HD. Additionally, the Confuse spell has been removed. Now there’s exactly one “confuse exactly one thing” spell and it’s not so overpowered."

I personally am not a big fan of old CT because it was pretty cumbersome to use (free hand, casting time, try to hit target). Was this aspect addressed?

You haven't needed a free hand for quite a while now, you still don't. You do still need casting time and to try to hit the target. CT is considerably worse than confuse was, enough that it's pretty bad at level 3 (of course there's nothing left to compare it to, so there's that) it was too good for a level 1 spell, but it's not good enough for level 3, as a level 3 spell it's worse than most level 2 spells.
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Post Sunday, 23rd February 2020, 00:06

Re: Remove confusing touch

Siegurt wrote:but it's not good enough for level 3, as a level 3 spell it's worse than most level 2 spells.
to be fair, most level X spells are worse than most level X-1 spells

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Post Friday, 6th March 2020, 20:23

Re: Remove confusing touch

I've tried out the new Enchanter until Lair:6.
TBH I expected it'd be terrible, but it felt pretty good.
EH and Confuse are very different now, and it gave me a reason to use both of them. (In the past I ignored EH.)
Even as a Felid, needing to get up close for Confuse (against all manner of enemies who aren't susceptible to EH) wasn't a problem, but it did force me to use Tukima's Dance. (In the past I'd only use this spell for lols.)
Dazzling Flash was powerful enough to fight death yak packs, and it was nice to have an AOE hex.
You could never rely on getting CT in the past, so it didn't feel like I was missing anything. But I'll still prefer EE stabbers, I think.

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Post Tuesday, 10th March 2020, 19:20

Re: Remove confusing touch

I did VpEn not long ago, I still use EH early then ignore it. Too unreliable to get the hex to stick compared to CT and mephitic cloud. Sleep stabs are stronger than confuse stabs obviously, but after you're past the "low AC near hydras" phase confused stuff is functionally useless against you.

The rate of confusion using MR CT mirrors what I said earlier in this thread almost precisely; you will hex anything that isn't high MR almost immediately in terms of auts spent, making it both mana and time efficient even compared to the old confuse spell, since each cast is nearly guaranteed to confuse something, usually in <30 auts.

MR immune or very high MR stuff remains annoying, especially if also resistant to poison. Stabbers have no out for those other than god abilities, summoning, or just damaging them to death like a non-stabber. Stabbing is worse than ever in extended, since lots of stuff you could confuse previously can't be confused now, and the range to disable hellions/tormentors/hounds of doom was much more relevant there. You're basically forced to transition out of stabbing as anything other than anti popcorn + occasional opportunism.
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