Xom Rework


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Temple Termagant

Posts: 7

Joined: Monday, 9th June 2014, 23:43

Post Friday, 15th November 2019, 16:11

Xom Rework

Posted this on Reddit,though I'd crosspost here as well to hear some thoughts.


I'll start by explaining why Xom as he stands now is a problem. As a god, Xom is frustrating, confusing, and exploitable. Also incredibly opaque.

Not only does Xom have a piety system unlike any other god, he actually has ANOTHER piety system that sits underneath the first. This is known as the amusement system. It is designed so that if you sit around and do nothing, Xom will get bored as a hidden!! amusement value can decay to 0. It is also designed so that you're not supposed to be able to really affect this amusement value... except sometimes randomly you do... and if Xom is bored, then bad stuff happens. I don't know what happens when Xom is bored, but it's bad. More opaqueness.

Here's the best part, you can game the amusement system, and it's actually pretty easy. The wiki has a list of such actions you can take. However, the list is not exhaustive, and it misses one easily exploitable way, and here it is! If you cast mephitic cloud, and become confused, then go up or down stairs and hurt yourself, Xom will be highly amused. So if you knew this, you can safely wait out Xom's bad piety spurts and don't have to worry about him getting bored. If the devs patch this, then I'm sure another method will still be exploited that isn't widely known. Like fighting enemies in shallow water so they stumble.

Okay, so that's why the first piety system is bad. This directly sabotages the second, main, piety system. Xom's piety fluctuates from 0-200. The higher the piety, the better the actions you get. You as a player, cannot wait out bad piety episodes, or else Xom will get BORED. So even if you're at 1 pip, and the next least dangerous floor is Shoals:4, tough luck champ. Hope you like getting confused in front of Merfolk javelineers. Again, you can game the system by waiting on down stairs and doing something stupid like confusing yourself and falling down while waiting for piety to go up. NEITHER option should be necessary, namely going down into a dangerous floor with min piety nor exploiting the amusement system so that Xom doesn't get bored.

Finally, Xom is frustrating. In Crawl, if you get Xom's aid and absolutely destroy a pack of yaks, you don't get much out of it. On the other hand, if you are at low Xom piety, you can get banished to the abyss, or be overwhelmed by a pack of demons on top of the Yaks. In other words, all you need is Xom to screw you over badly one time to completely override all the good luck that you've received. This can also happen in the form of getting teleportitis or misshapen body, or frailness, all of which can greatly increase your chances of splatting and are for the most part out of your control.

All that being said, I really like Xom, and I have some changes in mind.

First major changes being, completely remove both piety systems, Amusement and random piety. Change Xom into a standard, exploration based piety system. In other words, you get piety for exploring, and it decays pretty quickly. 0 piety does NOT mean bad random effects, just LESS good effects.

Replace all random mutations with the following: Everytime you would receive a bad mutation, roll a piety dependent chance to reroll the mutation (up to 50% to reroll a bad mutation).

Remove some of the just plain rippy effects. Mainly just the random teleport carousel, which is more obnoxious than anything, as well as random torment and abyss banishment, and all random mutation as discussed.

Some new effects!

Chaotic disposition: All melee attacks have a piety dependent chance to apply a chaos brand to the attack. All spells have a static chance to cast a random spell from the same tier. (Probably excepting silence and other really dangerous ones.)

Chaotic luck: Whenever a consumable is picked up, piety dependent chance to double the item, probably up to 10%.

Grand Chaos: Cast an ressistable invocation based polymorph on all creatures in LOS excluding caster. This one is just for fun.

Everything not explicitly charted for removal would remain as is.

Everything is open to feedback. Thoughts?

Ziggurat Zagger

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Joined: Tuesday, 30th October 2012, 19:06

Post Friday, 15th November 2019, 16:35

Re: Xom Rework

I think Xom is perfectly what he is right now, trying to turn him into a useful/reliable/beneficial god completely defeats the purpose of him.

I do agree that his amusement shouldn't be easily gameable though.
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Sauken

Temple Termagant

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Joined: Monday, 9th June 2014, 23:43

Post Friday, 15th November 2019, 17:00

Re: Xom Rework

I guess I should clarify that making him objectively better is really secondary, I just hate how opaque the dual-piety system is, and having to deal with Xom being BORED. It's so random and shitty how little control you have over it unless you specifically go out of your way to exploit it.

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 6401

Joined: Tuesday, 30th October 2012, 19:06

Post Friday, 15th November 2019, 17:06

Re: Xom Rework

Sauken wrote:I guess I should clarify that making him objectively better is really secondary, I just hate how opaque the dual-piety system is, and having to deal with Xom being BORED. It's so random and shitty how little control you have over it unless you specifically go out of your way to exploit it.

I guess I would say that I think it would be better if you had no control over it at all.
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Swamp Slogger

Posts: 137

Joined: Saturday, 10th January 2015, 22:27

Post Friday, 15th November 2019, 21:59

Re: Xom Rework

While I would agree that there should be no control over whether Xom is amused, I would like to see some sort of active ability for Xom.

Even just "Invoke Xom" - Xom has a random chance to act. If unsuccessful, nothing happens; if successful, Xom does...something. Positive, negative, neutral, whatever, probably tilted towards negative or with a few strong negatives to prevent spamming. Or maybe tension-based (even though tension sucks) so that invoking could average somewhat positive at high tension but very negative at no tension.

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Temple Termagant

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Joined: Monday, 9th June 2014, 23:43

Post Saturday, 16th November 2019, 02:42

Re: Xom Rework

Agreed. Having a higher degree of agency is nice, in general I think most players like to feel like their decisions. Obviously not complete control since that would defeat the point of the God of chaos, but having one or two chaotic flavored abilities would make the situations where you get into a dangerous situation and have to just pray Xom does something or is in a good mood not feel as hopeless.
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Slime Squisher

Posts: 402

Joined: Sunday, 27th January 2019, 13:50

Post Saturday, 16th November 2019, 09:52

Re: Xom Rework

Sauken wrote:Agreed. Having a higher degree of agency is nice, in general I think most players like to feel like their decisions. Obviously not complete control since that would defeat the point of the God of chaos, but having one or two chaotic flavored abilities would make the situations where you get into a dangerous situation and have to just pray Xom does something or is in a good mood not feel as hopeless.


  Code:
Welcome, Sauken the Gnoll!

...

You see 4 death yaks and a catoplebas.
You pray to Xom.
Xom smiles upon you!
You see 4 death yaks, a catoplebas, and a +11 giant spiked club of Xom's benevolence {freezing, rF++ rElec Stlth-}.

...

Ouch! That really hurt!
You die...


I'm on board for some form of active, and just like the others I would be fine with some change so long as Xom remains the troll we know and love.
There is always something new to learn.

Swamp Slogger

Posts: 137

Joined: Saturday, 10th January 2015, 22:27

Post Saturday, 16th November 2019, 14:36

Re: Xom Rework

That's basically exactly how I'd want a Xom active to work. I figure give people a "Pray to Xom" ability - it might do anything from "nothing" to extremely positive effects, to extremely negative ones.

I might even tweak the chances depending on tension (even though tension is a flawed mechanic) so that at high tension he's sliiiiightly more likely to do something positive, and at low tension he's almost certainly going to do something very negative. That'd prevent people from gaming it by spamming prayer in safe areas until they got something good, and it'd mean that people might genuinely consider calling his attention in a bad situation (even though the odds would still be good that he would make things worse).

Lair Larrikin

Posts: 24

Joined: Wednesday, 31st May 2017, 18:31

Post Saturday, 16th November 2019, 14:47

Re: Xom Rework

Stuff which makes Xom amused should be constantly changed during the game. Here he is being amused by heavy damage, then he is amused by reading wrong scroll and then he is amused by... you finding a long sword.

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