Torment


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Post Saturday, 24th December 2011, 19:52

Torment

Torment, for quite awhile now, has bothered me quite a bit. Not so much the huge, near irresistible damage (although I'm not a fan of that either), but the fact that it's both instant and spammy. So, if you end up sharing a screen with a Torment capable enemy, particularly Fiends who generally have enough HP you can't one-shot them, you basically have to just pray you don't get Torment spammed too much before you kill it or get away if you're not undead or have lich form. And enemies who can spam-summon Fiends? Yeah... While it is threatening, and I understand it's purpose, it isn't very fun.

So, here's the suggestion: make Torment take a couple of turns to come into effect, and prevent Torment-capable foes from using it again until it goes off. When an enemy uses it, a message such as "You feel dark forces try to twist your soul" or some other clear warning shows up. After two or three turns, if you don't kill the Tormentor or break LOS, you get hit by it, thus allowing the player to actually react rather than only take pre-emptive measures (get Life Protection, cast Lich Form, or choose undead as a species). If necessary, Torment can be compensated by making Life Pro useless to reduce it's damage, meaning the player has to react to it if they can't become undead lest they suffer a huge chunk of damage in a moment. It'd also reduce the instances of stepping into view of two fiends and immediately dropping to 25% HP because both hit Torment simultaneously the moment they saw you.
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Post Saturday, 24th December 2011, 20:20

Re: Torment

Honestly, I have always hated torment because of how limiting it makes the game. You're pretty much forced into so many precise choices just because of it, especially in the extended end-game. I'm not hating the danger, just the whole almost having to either be undead, have a good god, or have stone form. Unfortunately, so much of the game is built around it, I'm not sure it can really be changed in a good way.

The extra turns for dealing with it kinda makes being a storm spellcaster a bit too powerful, nuking fiends before they torment would be pretty easy. Personally I would rather just have more attainable ways of dealing with torment. rN+++ just sucks even if you can get it.

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Post Saturday, 24th December 2011, 21:09

Re: Torment

greepish, so many people have done extended successfully and even easily without
the whole almost having to either be undead, have a good god, or have stone form
that your points aren't really valid. I suggest you check out some logs or something.

Regarding "instant and spammy": do you want to remove centaur packs, the hellion island, hydrae, "corner ogres" etc. from Crawl? They all deal a lot of damage in one turn. Danger is a good thing, not a bad thing. If you want to prevent torment damage go for the tormentor before he torments again or consider using corners or scrolls of fog. Blindly running towards people who deal a lot of damage in a very short time is going to get you killed anywhere, not just in extended.

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Post Sunday, 25th December 2011, 00:11

Re: Torment

When it comes to serious late game threats, I reckon torment to be a good one (design wise), hellfire to be decent, and paralysis to be problematic. You see, we want effects that can turn ordinary situations into Oh Shit situations. Torment is good because (a) it doesn't kill you directly, so you can react, (b) you know your tormentors, so you can react before they torment, so that (c) positioning, fog etc. are all useful.

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Post Sunday, 25th December 2011, 01:21

Re: Torment

greepish wrote:Honestly, I have always hated torment because of how limiting it makes the game. You're pretty much forced into so many precise choices just because of it, especially in the extended end-game. I'm not hating the danger, just the whole almost having to either be undead, have a good god, or have stone form. Unfortunately, so much of the game is built around it, I'm not sure it can really be changed in a good way.

I don't think you're limited. Here's a list of ways you can deal with torment.

1. Gods. Kiku outright gives you torment resistance (not perfect, but fairly good). TSO gives you rn+++ and healing on kills (everything that casts torment is stuff that TSO will heal you for). Makhleb also gives you enough healing on kills to offset torment damage. With these gods, you can't ignore torment, but you can safely fight enemies that use it. These three gods make tormenting enemies fairly easy... hellfire is a bigger threat, imo.

2. Walking away. Much like with orc priests, simple retreating tends to be enough to deal with tormenting enemies. The only thing that casts torment and is faster than you is tormentors, and pan lords (gloorx, and some random ones). It's safe to just retreat to a decent spot and then fight your enemies one at a time (heal in emergencies). Usually you won't get tormented that much. This is your #1 strategy.

3. Regeneration. If you're not with a healing god, regen is fairly mandatory. It's not super useful in a fight, but it lets you recover quickly between fights... hp loss stops being such a big worry. The spell isn't too uncommon, and it's also granted by several items and by trog. Healing with ely is also fairly reliable.

4. Fog. This is similar to walking away. Limited, though.

5. Being undead. This one is limited unless you cast necromutation.

6. Statue form. Easier to get than necromutation, has some drawbacks though. Useful if you just want to kill tormenting enemies.

7. Summons. You can use these to kill tormenting enemies without them being able to torment you. This is a good idea for casters, especially. You don't need that much summoning skill.

8. Just being really powerful. Kill them before they can get more than one torment off. A good idea for any character. Use holy wrath if you can. I think a lot of people underestimate this option.

9. rN+++. This comes with TSO, but you can get it in other ways too. Cuts torment damage to 35% instead of 50%. Without any rN, at 200 hp two torments will take you down to 50 hp. With rN+++ you'll be at 84 (roughly... regeneration between torments and rounding makes the number a bit higher). Pretty significant.

Combine as many of these as possible for best results.

Overall I'd say most characters have ways of dealing with torment, although it's a bigger threat for some than it is for others. The ones that have the hardest time (in my opinion) are pure-melee followers of trog, but even they get a regeneration power which helps a great deal.

I suppose, in theory, you could do something like create a pure melee character of Okawaru (no spells, no evocations, etc...), and decide to do the extended endgame. But you've gimped yourself in that case - you want a way to deal with torment in the extended endgame, just like you want a way to deal with orbs of fire in zot.

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Post Sunday, 25th December 2011, 02:18

Re: Torment

Yeah that's true. TBH I don't play extended very much. There's still the freak chance of doing pandemonium and descending into one of those circular pan lord pits with like 10 fiends. In which case you simply die with most of those 9 options.

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Post Sunday, 25th December 2011, 02:29

Re: Torment

greepish wrote:Yeah that's true. TBH I don't play extended very much. There's still the freak chance of doing pandemonium and descending into one of those circular pan lord pits with like 10 fiends. In which case you simply die with most of those 9 options.

In pandemonium, the proper strategy is to buff yourself before entering a portal and be at full hp. If you get dumped into a vault, you just need to teleport. Usually you'll be fine as long as you heal every turn (in the worst case). Usually you won't get tormented too much, since enemies with torment usually prefer to move, or melee, or cast other spells. The chance of having 10 enemies on screen capable of torment is absurdly low, too. 1 or 2 is likely, 5 or more is uncommon except in the very nastiest vaults.

Much worse is hellion island. For that, you need to blink - waiting for a teleport is almost certainly fatal. Still, people don't tend to die to this, because blinking does tend to work.

Entering pan without blinking or teleportation is, of course, insane.

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Post Sunday, 25th December 2011, 02:32

Re: Torment

Well that goes without saying. But you must admit, having a relevent god/statue form/being undead helps dramatically in surviving the few turns it takes to teleport out of those vaults. Anyways, I'll just take your word for it, I just haven't tried it without super-heavy torment resistance because I hate losing 8+hour characters on a guess :)
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Post Sunday, 25th December 2011, 05:31

Re: Torment

cerebovssquire wrote:Regarding "instant and spammy": do you want to remove centaur packs, the hellion island, hydrae, "corner ogres" etc. from Crawl? They all deal a lot of damage in one turn. Danger is a good thing, not a bad thing. If you want to prevent torment damage go for the tormentor before he torments again or consider using corners or scrolls of fog. Blindly running towards people who deal a lot of damage in a very short time is going to get you killed anywhere, not just in extended.


Those aren't the same thing. Centaurs and hydras and so on and so forth can all be dealt with in countless fashions and in the vast majority of the cases you have more than ample time to react before HP suddenly vanishes and it's not entirely RNG dependent on whether they gib a HP chunk or do something comparatively harmless. OOD Centaurs, stealthy Ogres, and the like are extremely uncommon and are corner case scenarios. Hellion Island is a vault a one-time deal, and is only dangerous if you blindly rush it or happen to spawn or teleport into it.


Now, back to the topic in general, keep in mind, I'm not saying Torment should be removed or significantly nerfed. I understand it's importance to the extended end-game in keeping viable threats to players with 100 AC, 100 EV, and 100 SH without one-shotting everyone else and I don't have any alliterative ideas for replacing Torment, so I'm not suggesting that. Rather, I'm suggesting a way to make it tactically more interesting and less of a RNG deciding whether you die now or not. At the moment, every turn you spend in LOS of a torment capable foe is one you could either lose 35-50% of your remaining HP or have something ranging from significantly less dangerous to non-threatening happen with rather limited options for preventing it as much of the torment capable foes are either highly resistant or outright immune to most lockdown and prevention tactics that work against many smiters, arrow spammers, and the like. It's not interesting, it's just dice rolling if you don't have stone/lich/undead forms. rN+++ doesn't mean much if you get spam-tormented before you can kill the offender or escape and if you can't become Torment immune in some fashion.

A two-three turn delay in Torment landing would give the player a few more options in reacting. Sure, spell blasters could blow up the tormentor before getting tormented, but then again at the moment all they do is pop regen, rest, and continue on after the two turns it takes to blast a Fiend with an OoD and Ice Storm combo. Is a delay the best solution? Probably not, but at least it'd make some aspects such as utilizing cover and positioning a bit more interesting and useful, particularly for characters who don't explode everything at the edge of LOS instantly, such as being able to duck behind a corner to avoid Torment and then step out to keep fighting and to keep the tormentor where you want it.
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Post Sunday, 25th December 2011, 08:27

Re: Torment

Read evilmike's post or if you have, take it more seriously because it includes some very good points. Tormentors can be dealt with in "countless fashions" too. Ducking behind a corner or retreating already works because nearly all tormentors are speed 10 or less.
It would also be very awkward. In extended, it often occurs that you are facing large numbers of enemies, sometimes 3 or more tormentors and ergo a lot of messagespam. This would result in checking message logs basically every turn to check 1) have I been tormented and often 2) who tormented me whenever tormentors are on the screen. If you put a force_more on the "dark forces twisting your soul" thing then that just makes messagespam more annoying.

All in all your points seem to be based on the asssumption that the game arbitrarily decides if you die or not. If you can go through every point in evilmike's post and prove me that all of these are nonsense or not enough to prevent arbitrariness, I'll accept what you're saying. Right now it has false premises, in my opinion. Countless players with various character types, often without lichform or TSO, have beaten extended using skill and not the mere favour of the RNG.

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Post Sunday, 25th December 2011, 10:54

Re: Torment

Torment is my favorite unavoidable attack. It's rather harsh for deep dwarves (who have a fairly easy time learning statue form or necromut and get free rN), for everyone else I think it's perfectly fine. HP tend to be rather inflated in the late game compared to the damage most attacks do to a char with good defenses and resists. And during the late game most players don't try to get more powerful, but try to accumulate as many escape options as possible, making it nearly impossible to die to anything but inattention or hubris for a good and experienced player (who is just trying to win, speedruns and other challenges are a different matter of course). Torment takes care of the problem fairly well by simply halving HP, making death a possibility again. Plus dealing with torment eats lots of resources (equipment slots, god, skill levels) that could be spent on other defenses or escapes.

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Post Sunday, 25th December 2011, 12:45

Re: Torment

The only issue I have with torment is that it's a bit overused, to the point that the extended game becomes the "deal with torment/hellfire" game. Some other threats would be nice, like more highlevel spellcasters. Torment itself is fine.

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Post Sunday, 25th December 2011, 22:11

Re: Torment

Most other things are pretty easy for them, so I suppose it's only fair that they have a hard time dealing with torment.

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Post Monday, 26th December 2011, 02:46

Re: Torment

TwilightPhoenix wrote: I don't have any alliterative ideas for replacing Torment, so I'm not suggesting that.


How about 'Horrendous halving of healthpoints'?

On a serious note, the only issue I have with Torment is that rNeg offers such a minor level of protection. This in turn does restrict the approach which must be taken, as the OP notes, to certain Gods and spells. I think TBH evilmike's list is padded a little as it includes some very risky strategies which will likely result in death somewhere down the line.

I think if nNeg offered 10% resistance per + it would be alot more viable meaning any potential build could have a decent defence against torment, provided they were content to wear armour/jewellery which was sub-optimal for other challenges - lose other resists, evocable items, etc.

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Post Monday, 26th December 2011, 03:54

Re: Torment

Hi, just want to add a little something to this conversation. Now that i've played a lot of this game and am completely spoiled on most things i know to prepare for torment/hellfire threats. But early in my playing this game, those were the things that made me go: "Ok, this is bullshit, i need to either spoil myself completely or i'll stop playing this game". Took a while, but i eventually read through a significant portion of the wiki and bots, and then the game became a puzzle i knew all the pieces of, just not the order, rather than the big adventure it initially was.

Not saying much needs to change either, since now i think those things are necessary to keep advanced players interested in the game, but there's got to be a better way to break in new players then making them (and meeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!) lose multiple characters that had 25+ hours put in them. Maybe in the description of tormenting enemies say, this enemy can torment, this is one of the most dangerous attacks, you can find more about it and how to protect yourself from it by reading (spot in helpfile / wiki / bots). I'm sure it would help less nerdy players than me avoid ragequit.

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Post Monday, 26th December 2011, 04:06

Re: Torment

ximxim wrote:The only issue I have with torment is that it's a bit overused, to the point that the extended game becomes the "deal with torment/hellfire" game. Some other threats would be nice, like more highlevel spellcasters. Torment itself is fine.

While i don't think torment itself is fine, I do think this is kinda the bigger issue. There's a tier the player reaches that's basically far beyond the threats of the hells, pan, and most of the levels of the tower. It really comes down to "did i walk around the corner into a death trap" which is oddly counter to how the rest of the game feels. When i walk around the corner and see some ogres and ogre mages I'll think about engaging, try to not have straight lines between the mages so i don't get banished and blasted, and at multiple points consider what spells to use or if i need to start running. By late game the plan seems to be ,all buffs all the time and here's your AOE stuff, and of course your godly melee weapon. Every fight seems to be either "i murder them" or "oh shit hellfire time to kite". I'd love to see another area/tier of enemies designed to be absolutely brutal to any player character because right now it seems super reliant on irresistible damage or unlucky resist rolls. Namely smite, wrath(both davea's), torment, hellfire, and things like hellfire.

For torment the lack of Rneg and the walk around a corner and drop to 25%, or lower, is ugly. Yeah standard dance stuff works, but the full screen smite targeting is kinda meh. It can be dealt with, but it's not exactly the most interesting way, and I do think making the penalty more severe, but the skill more dynamic would be better for the game overall.

Edit-
It occurs to me that if we want "Oh shit" scenarios for late game, why not just a simple new monster spell. Debuff.

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Post Monday, 26th December 2011, 09:00

Re: Torment

qululu123 wrote:Hi, just want to add a little something to this conversation. Now that i've played a lot of this game and am completely spoiled on most things i know to prepare for torment/hellfire threats. But early in my playing this game, those were the things that made me go: "Ok, this is bullshit, i need to either spoil myself completely or i'll stop playing this game". Took a while, but i eventually read through a significant portion of the wiki and bots, and then the game became a puzzle i knew all the pieces of, just not the order, rather than the big adventure it initially was.

Not saying much needs to change either, since now i think those things are necessary to keep advanced players interested in the game, but there's got to be a better way to break in new players then making them (and meeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!) lose multiple characters that had 25+ hours put in them. Maybe in the description of tormenting enemies say, this enemy can torment, this is one of the most dangerous attacks, you can find more about it and how to protect yourself from it by reading (spot in helpfile / wiki / bots). I'm sure it would help less nerdy players than me avoid ragequit.


1) Extended is optional content. The game tells you this ("3 runes! That's enough to enter then Realm of Zot!" / "You need at least 3 runes to enter this place.") and if you're there you always know that you are taking additional risks. You don't have to be there to win. Also, how is a new player encounter torment and hellfire? You rarely find those on Elf:5 and often in extended. Both are not exactly areas newbies frequent.
2) If you're playing unspoiled or with few, you're following a deliberate and unneccessary (in the meaning of "you don't need to", not as in "it's pointless bullshit", don't get me wrong) conduct. More than ever will you learn from your mistakes and deaths. It might well be that you die once in every new branch and once in every branch end because that's how it works. But it's not the normal situation and nobody will disrespect you for spoiling yourself. As above, if you're deliberately making the game harder than it it because you want these 15 runes on your first win or because you want to be unspoiled, I'm fine with that and so is everybody else - but please don't complain about the level of difficulty you yourself are responsible for.

why not just a simple new monster spell. Debuff.


Zot and Lom Lobon's level and Ziggurats have purple draconians that spit debuffing rays. I wouldn't want to overuse this though.

Extended has a good deal of fights that you will win with a lot of difficulty, consumable usage, stairdancing, heavy use of Regeneration and many more. It's far from being an "easy win/total defeat must teleport" situation.
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Post Monday, 26th December 2011, 14:35

Re: Torment

Torment is really nothing, honest. Unless you get the "islands" Cocytus:7, now that's a fun level, it's a shame that it doesn't show up as often these days.

You're not supposed to beat the extended endgame if you're scared of torment, nor do you deserve to. Get better at the game and come back later. Nobody was an "advanced player" when they first ventured into extended. You're not really restricted in choice of god, either - some people think they are because they're terrified of torment, which causes every single goddamn strategical decision they make to be heavily biased towards anti-torment choices. Only Yred, Fedhas, Beogh and Cheibriados are "bad" choices for extended; Yred and Fedhas don't give you anything there, Beogh gives you something but it's probably not really helpful, and Cheibriados is a bad god anywhere else anyway to begin with. Any other god is a viable choice and I've conquered extended with most of them, without playing undead races or using necromutation. The most overwhelmingly powerful character I've ever played was a TrEE who took Ashenzari for extended. The best played all-runer I ever did was a DSWz of Lugonu. The most amusing trip through extended was a DSEE of Jiyva, and that was before Jiyva got a million buffs. Sure, TSO or Kiku guarantee you an easier time most of the time, but not every character benefits as much from these two as they could from some other god. It's up to the player to find and make the best choice; it's what the game is all about.

I realize some of this might look elitist, well, so be it. If a game doesn't clearly separate the good players from the bad ones, and doesn't make clear for a bad/beginning player who puts enough effort into it that he is improving and becoming a good/experienced player, then it's not really a game worth playing.
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Post Monday, 26th December 2011, 16:21

Re: Torment

evilmike wrote:8. Just being really powerful. Kill them before they can get more than one torment off. A good idea for any character. Use holy wrath if you can. I think a lot of people underestimate this option.


On this note, remember that blinking (controlled or semi-) will get you to melee range faster than walking, especially if there's a pile of imp dross in the way. Sometimes you can kill them before they get *any* torments off.

Of course, fiends (especially ice fiends!) can dish out pretty significant melee damage in addition to tormenting you...

But yeah: on the whole, torment is actually a pretty manageable threat, and (combined with hellfire) is about all that keeps the post-endgame from being a roflstomp for any Zot-capable character.
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Post Monday, 26th December 2011, 16:35

Re: Torment

*sigh*

I'm not arguing that Torment is hard. Or unfair. Just that it's a very boring, limiting threat and it can be a bit too RNGish on whether you get over-spammed by it or not. Hellfire users tend to only have Hellfire as a ranged attack or have other, equally dangerous attacks and often can be taken down quickly (with a few exceptions). Torment users tend to have stuff that isn't really a threat anymore at that point, like those Bolt of Whatever spells and enough HP to survive a few incredibly damaging attacks, so it comes down to "Casts Tickle" or "Casts Face Stomp". So, depending on the RNG, an encounter with a pair of Fiends can be trivially easy, or you could be running away with 25% HP after one turn with them in LOS.

The threat is there, and it's important that it remains there, but it's a very boring, uninteresting, and, as Eji points out, perhaps a bit too overused. It'd like to keep that threat and level of difficulty, or raise it, and have Torment be more interesting. Or torment users have more interesting attacks. This randomly came to mind the instance I typed this sentence, but what if Fiends had access to stuff like Fire and Ice Storm instead of Torment? Still very dangerous, but it shakes things up a bit.
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Post Monday, 26th December 2011, 16:43

Re: Torment

The only effect of Torment that I don't really understand or like is the "every living creature in sight" bit. It usually doesn't come up, of course, but why should it affect more than one target? (of course, that's about the only thing keeping any other summoning spells relevant with dragons available)

Other than that, I think it's fine, and I don't like the idea of replacing them with storms. That's pan lord territory.
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Post Monday, 26th December 2011, 16:55

Re: Torment

TwilightPhoenix wrote:what if Fiends had access to stuff like Fire and Ice Storm instead of Torment?


... give Shatter to Pit Fiends... :shock:
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Post Monday, 26th December 2011, 17:18

Re: Torment

TwilightPhoenix wrote:what if Fiends had access to stuff like Fire and Ice Storm instead of Torment? Still very dangerous, but it shakes things up a bit.

Then in the instances where the RNG decides that you'd get tormentstormed into alarmingly low hp, a lot of characters would just die on the spot instead, except for massive-hp tanks. Which are probably the one character type that torment was designed to counter (very low hp chars often are better off being tormented). And in 1-vs-1 combat the fiends would just nuke themselves out of your way. And would clear all the popcorn nearby.

Blade wrote:The only effect of Torment that I don't really understand or like is the "every living creature in sight" bit. It usually doesn't come up, of course, but why should it affect more than one target? (of course, that's about the only thing keeping any other summoning spells relevant with dragons available)

It's an otherworldly malign aura manifesting itself from the caster. I think it's pretty cool, adds to the "inevitability" theme. For gameplay purposes, it also prevents you from spamming any low level summon to easily distract and/or eventually overwhelm the tormentors from within their line of sight. It also gives it a risk/reward factor when used from spell(rip)/scroll/sceptre/ability(kiku protection isn't 100% efficient or reliable), thought that is and always was a very minor point.

Of course, if you can cast enough dragons, not even all-living-creatures-in-LoS torment can keep them from clobbering whatever is tormenting you.
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Post Tuesday, 27th December 2011, 00:38

Re: Torment

I put this in the para thread but i'll throw it here-
I think a single one turn channel description would greatly increase strategy in some of these sceanrios. If it weakens the spell too much compensating buffs could be made.

So you walk around a corner and read "a fiend is preparing a dangerous spell" and you know you've got that one turn to either jack that fiend up, or prep for pain.

As for the idea of overusing debuff, why is that a bad thing? We already overuse smite, hellfire, and torment because they're basically the ONLY extended game threats. If we used stuff like debuff more we could use the others less. Hell I already find it annoying that the most common successful extended build is buff monster(hasted, deflect missile, fly, lichform, etc), and there's been topic after topic on how to deal with that. If more monsters were able to deal with it(maybe a whole class of spells. One removes a random buff, removes all buffs, only removes buffs if you have more than one, unresist dmg per buff on your guy, apply an opposite debuff for each buff "haste becomes slow sorta thing", etc) then maybe it wouldn't be such an issue. The idea of downsides to buffing, other than glow, is something that should be looked into.

Again the issue is that its a fairly boring and almost binary challenge with a few "oh shit" corner cases. Hell i still think it'd be a LOT better if we just rebalanced the whole extend game and also brought in more late game threats. I'd love to see monsters with max level spells and what not.

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Post Tuesday, 27th December 2011, 02:11

Re: Torment

Blech! I just lost a promising mid-game Draconian with 201 HP to Khufu's Greater Mummies, so I'm not well disposed to torment right now. :mrgreen:
Halving HP is fine. That's not the problem. Torment is threatening is when you get hit by it about four times in a row so that your 200+ HP character only has 11 HP and is then finishable by a single smite. :(
I think I'd agree that torment and smite are overused and castable by too many apparently unrelated monster types.

*sob*

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Post Tuesday, 27th December 2011, 03:00

Re: Torment

People who are worried about Torment should try playing a few 15-Rune games without bothering to defend against it at all. It's really, really a non-issue. You prevent it the same way you prevent any other source of damage -- kill the source. Rest it off afterward. Problem solved. It can't kill you all by itself, and unless you've horribly and comedically botched your character build or rolled the worst aggregate loot in Crawl history, you'll be able to clear out a foo fiend before its basic attacks can finish you off. The rest is managing aggro, since after you kill the foo fiend you still have to worry about its friends, but if you didn't already know how to manage aggro you wouldn't have made it past the 27,000 centaur packs you ran into on the way here.
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Abyss Ambulator

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Post Tuesday, 27th December 2011, 03:53

Re: Torment

Then in the instances where the RNG decides that you'd get tormentstormed into alarmingly low hp, a lot of characters would just die on the spot instead, except for massive-hp tanks. Which are probably the one character type that torment was designed to counter (very low hp chars often are better off being tormented). And in 1-vs-1 combat the fiends would just nuke themselves out of your way. And would clear all the popcorn nearby.


Well, like I said, it was a random idea. To say I put a minimum amount of thought into it before suggesting it would be an exaggeration. Storms and Shatter, perhaps not (although some end-game uniques besides random Pan Lords using those and Tornado could be quite interesting), but they need other threatening stuff to in addition to or replacing Torment, especially if the new ability(s) replace Torment.

As for stuff that can make having tons of HP not as big of an advantage, Agony works just as fine and is at least a little bit more interesting by letting you position monsters between you and the Agony user. Agony is also pretty downright rare, especially compared to Torment.


KoboldLord wrote:People who are worried about Torment...


At the risk of coming off as flamebaiting, you're still completely missing the point of the topic.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 27th December 2011, 08:49

Re: Torment

As for the idea of overusing debuff, why is that a bad thing? We already overuse smite, hellfire, and torment because they're basically the ONLY extended game threats.


, because paralysis, fire storm, ice storm, physical damage and conjurations to low-defence characters (yes, these exist), holy damage, and sticky flames burning away your consumables so you might not be able to blink away next time you land on the hellion island are not threats, right?


Agony is not only rare but also pathetic because it's resistable by MR and most characters (except some species with basically no MR) have tons of MR or swappable MR by then anyway. It makes sense to have tons of it amassed because it's the most important resistance in Tomb and for threeruning, except in Zot.

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Post Tuesday, 27th December 2011, 09:24

Re: Torment

TwilightPhoenix wrote:At the risk of coming off as flamebaiting, you're still completely missing the point of the topic.

And you are missing the point of what a few different people have already told you. The fact that torment can turn a normal situation into an "oh shit I need to gtfo" situation within one or two turns is what it's supposed to do, and it does it well. The point of the topic has been addressed long ago.
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Post Tuesday, 27th December 2011, 18:10

Re: Torment

Again, I know and again, that's not what I'm addressing. To reiterate yet again, I understand the danger Torment poses and understand the importance of that danger. It's just a very boring, uninteresting, and not very fun danger as well as being a bit RNGy because most Tormentors have much less dangerous options that they may choose to spam. I don't know about you, but when I get tormented or torment spammed, I don't think "Oh, this is exciting!" as with other dangerous situations. Instead, it's more like "Oh, this crap again. Yay..."
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Wednesday, 28th December 2011, 00:49

Re: Torment

The proposed two-turn delay for monsters casting Torment would completely neuter it as a threat. It's barely a threat now, since you just kill the source on sight and rest off any damage afterward. If you get a free turn to unload on it before you can possibly be damaged, that just means it'll be really easy to kill it before it does anything meaningful, since you'll be able to hit it twice instead of just once. Chain-Torment will be flat-out impossible.

If you want to play a roguelike where after a certain point monsters are completely incapable of seriously harming you, there are several to choose from. Crawl's Torment mechanic is actually fairly notable in this regard.

Vaults Vanquisher

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Post Wednesday, 28th December 2011, 00:54

Re: Torment

Heh, don't make him say his point for the 5th(?) time ;) It's not torment being hard, it's about it being kinda boring and the almost sole source of extended difficulty. Hellfire and storms being the others, although it's basically the same kind of thing (irresitable, undodgeable,damage).

Unlike, say, Hell's effects which are interesting and hard at the same time.

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Post Wednesday, 28th December 2011, 02:06

Re: Torment

His point is completely empty. He wields 'boring' as a rhetorical hammer to bypass the mechanical significance of the monster spell, without actually bothering to explain why Torment is, in his opinion, boring. Does TwilightPhoenix run into an ogre on D4, and when that ogre starts hitting him with a giant spike club, think "Oh, this crap again, yay…"? How about when yaktaurs in V2 start shooting at him? Or orc sorcerors on O4 start summoning demons?

I do not perceive the Torment experience as boring. To the contrary, it is one of the most interesting aspects of gameplay to manage during the typical Pan experience, although that might be faint praise. When somebody describes Torment as 'boring,' I can only conclude that one of two possibilities is true: either they have absolutely no idea what they are talking about, or they're just playing the word to win internet debate points because the word 'boring' creates an emotional response.

No remotely usable suggestions have been made here. TwilightPhoenix's suggestion about adding a delay would neuter Torment all the way down to the level of being a flavor text cantrip. His suggestion to give foo fiends Fire Storm-equivalents to cast is marginally less terrible, but makes Torment the strictly weaker spell in their casting list rather than the big scary effect that ultimately won't do anything really dangerous.

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Post Wednesday, 28th December 2011, 02:56

Re: Torment

Well, I can't speak for why he thinks it's boring, but here's why I believe it is:

Say you're doing vault. Here's some things that can hurt you significantly at that point in the game, with possible counters.

Heavy ranged attacks
Faster monsters
Heavy melee attacks
Slow
Confuse
Uniques and their abilities (mislead, silence, etc. A LOT)
Exp Drain
Resistable damage
Irresisible damage
Summon swarms
Paralysis


Counters at this stage: run, kill fast, Health potions, AC/EV buffs, resist switching, decks while confused, strategic preps, several dozen, resistable spells, oh shit spells (borg/DD), spells with chunks/corpses, invisiblity, etc etc. A LOT.

Things that can hurt you significantly in extended:

Irresistable damage
Summon Swarms
Paralysis

Counters: run, kill fast, strategic preps, oh shit spells (borg/DD), (mass) abjuration

In short, extended tends to be Kill It With Fire Or Run Away. Main reason why I just don't do it anymore. Torment/hellfire is the biggest contributor to KIWFORA, nearly all enemies being demonic is another, having access to probably every abusable spell in the game is the last.

Causing massive dips in HP or giving massive resistances to enemies simply reduces the variety of dangers you can give them. You can't give them abilities to block teleporting (like constriction), you can't give them irresistible status effects, you can't let them teleport with you, you can't make them immune to storms spells, etc etc. If you do give them anything interesting, extended simply becomes a death trap. So you're left with 2 options: KIWFORA, preferably in exactly 2 turns. Since nearly all enemies have the exact same massive set of resists/see invis/etc, you're again left with 2 options: KIWFORA.

So I guess torment/hellfire and the like isn't boring, but it blocks adding anything that isn't. I think it's more apt to say that extended is boring, since torment is only one of the contributers.

So yeah, that's what I mean by boring.

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Abyss Ambulator

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Post Wednesday, 28th December 2011, 04:31

Re: Torment

Greepish pretty much hits one of the nails on the head. Actually several nails, but I've been primarily focusing on one specific nail. Extended really needs more variety in just about every aspect, period. I've done it a few times and, now that I have a 15-rune winner, I have little interest in doubling or more the length of a game with repetitive content when the option to winning is easily there and I'd only really care about trying to kill the Pan and Hell lords I haven't slain yet. But, discussing extended overall should probably be in another topic, and may not be a bad idea to do so.

But anyway, let's quote some posts so I can make things lucidly clear. Because, you know, arguing on the internet about a game is fun and is serious business, enough that it's important to do things like saying the other people discussing the topic are using empty rhetoric without saying anything of substance! ...but anyway... yeah, if I can't make it clear enough here, I'm going to stop trying to clarify for anyone who still can't get it.


KoboldLord wrote:His point is completely empty. He wields 'boring' as a rhetorical hammer to bypass the mechanical significance of the monster spell, without actually bothering to explain why Torment is, in his opinion, boring. Does TwilightPhoenix run into an ogre on D4, and when that ogre starts hitting him with a giant spike club, think "Oh, this crap again, yay…"? How about when yaktaurs in V2 start shooting at him? Or orc sorcerors on O4 start summoning demons?


Yes I did, several times. In short (again), it hits you instantly for a set amount of damage with few ways to react to it no matter where you are positioned on the screen and many of the monsters that wield it are basically just RNG crap-shooting between some stuff completely harmless to a character in extended and Torment.

As for your other scenarios, no, almost yes but no, and no. I don't think that in any of those situations. The Ogre is an early threat when you're scouring the floor for whatever you can find to survive so, unless you have Mephitic Cloud, it's often an improvisational fight if you choose to take it on (which I usually do nowadays). As for getting hit by the club itself, if I'm not trying to kill it in melee for whatever reason, that usually means I screwed up.

For Yaktaurs, they're borderline between boring and interesting because they're overly common. Everywhere you look in late dungeon and in the Vaults, there's Yaktaurs. Since they no longer infest the Vestibule, they're not as bad anymore, but they still need to be a little less common. But a pack of Yaktaurs is very rarely an exciting experience because, by that time, I've had practice with the Centaur packs on figuring out a strategy on that character. Same thing, but just more overall HP and damage output. But when they come bearing some nasty branded bolts and crossbows, such as plenty of Silver against a Jiyvite, then it gets much more interesting.

For the Orc Sorcerer? Usually, they're interesting in Orc:4, if you don't do it too late. They're glass cannons capable of summoning stuff that's rather dangerous but not too unfair as well as hurling some painful spells. They go down easily, but their mere presence means the situation is much more dangerous. Not to mention, they also often travel with packs of Orcs, so if you intend to wipe it out before it can blast you or summon stuff, you have to really consider a good approach and adapt to the situation as you attempt whatever it is you plan. Not to mention, you can take alternative approaches to the Orc Sorc problem other than killing it.



No remotely usable suggestions have been made here. TwilightPhoenix's suggestion about adding a delay would neuter Torment all the way down to the level of being a flavor text cantrip. His suggestion to give foo fiends Fire Storm-equivalents to cast is marginally less terrible, but makes Torment the strictly weaker spell in their casting list rather than the big scary effect that ultimately won't do anything really dangerous.



A regular Fiend can take a full-powered Ice Storm to the face and live. Orb/storming them can take three turns easily. That's plenty of time for them to cast Torment and get it off with a scant 1 or 2 turn delay. I don't see how that's "not remotely usable", especially when you consider someone nuking from orbit will rarely get tormented anyway because it's a RNG crapshoot and the demon is more likely to do something like "Summon Demonic Popcorn" or "Bolt of Bounces off rN+++". As for the other, I don't see why Torment being a weaker spell in their list is a bad thing, regardless of whether it's Fire Storm or something else entirely they have.
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Post Wednesday, 28th December 2011, 13:41

Re: Torment

greepish wrote:Things that can hurt you significantly in extended:

Irresistable damage
Summon Swarms
Paralysis

Right. And why is that? All the other threats of a 3-rune game you listed still exist in extended. But because they can be resisted most players doing extended do resist them. Anything that can significantly hurt and can be resisted will be resisted. Try going into Cocytus without at least rC+ and you will see that cold damage can still easily kill you. Even with rC+ it is probably the biggest source of damage in coc. You're not stupid, so you wear rC if it is at all possible, leaving torment (and possibly melee damage, especially from Antaeus) as the only things that can still significantly hurt you.

A player in extended probably has a nearly full set of jewellery and some ego items and randarts. Often also a whole bunch of spells. And consumables in case shit gets nasty. If it can be resisted, it probably will be resisted. Which leaves the irresistible stuff by default. Anything that could be added to make extended more interesting would either also have to be irresistable, or would have to bypass existing resists and use a new way to lower damage (stats, movement, maybe there's some other stuff that hasn't been used much).

Also note that very good players can currently do extended pretty early, without a full suite of resists and the ability to quickly kill anything the game throws at them. They probably don't find that boring. I am not that good, and I agree that extended is currently pretty boring. I would like to see some more variety in threats. Coming up with something good is hard, though.

greepish wrote:Causing massive dips in HP or giving massive resistances to enemies simply reduces the variety of dangers you can give them. You can't give them abilities to block teleporting (like constriction), you can't give them irresistible status effects, you can't let them teleport with you, you can't make them immune to storms spells, etc etc. If you do give them anything interesting, extended simply becomes a death trap. So you're left with 2 options: KIWFORA, preferably in exactly 2 turns. Since nearly all enemies have the exact same massive set of resists/see invis/etc, you're again left with 2 options: KIWFORA.

That's not how it works. First the stuff that turns extended into a horrible death trap needs to be added, then you can look at how to make it easier again. If anything about extended is going to change it wont go the way of first trivializing it, then adding stuff to make it harder again. That's because adding good new content is a lot of work, while cutting and nerfing is fairly easy.

TwilightPhoenix wrote:A regular Fiend can take a full-powered Ice Storm to the face and live. Orb/storming them can take three turns easily. That's plenty of time for them to cast Torment and get it off with a scant 1 or 2 turn delay. I don't see how that's "not remotely usable", especially when you consider someone nuking from orbit will rarely get tormented anyway because it's a RNG crapshoot and the demon is more likely to do something like "Summon Demonic Popcorn" or "Bolt of Bounces off rN+++".

Would you prefer it not to be an RNG crapshoot? Maybe some enemies could have a pain aura: every living being in sight could passively lose 10% HP every turn (9/8/7% with rN). Would you prefer that to torment? Probably not. Things often being unpredictable is what makes crawl fun. I think something like this pain aura could reasonably replace torment on a few enemies, because torment really is overused.

Also note that enemies don't cast attacks you're immune to, so "Bolt of Bounces of rN+++" won't be used if you actually have rN+++.

TwilightPhoenix wrote:As for the other, I don't see why Torment being a weaker spell in their list is a bad thing, regardless of whether it's Fire Storm or something else entirely they have.

Torment can damage you, but not kill you. This leaves you time to react. It also scales with max HP, offering a similar threat level for high and low HP races. Partially Irresistible attacks that do a lot of damage, like storms, can just flat-out kill you in three turns. This would be much more of a RNG crapshoot than Torment, which is one of the reasons why these spells are reserved for uniques. That way nobody can get doublestormed.
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Post Thursday, 29th December 2011, 09:00

Re: Torment

Galefury wrote:A player in extended probably has a nearly full set of jewellery and some ego items and randarts. Often also a whole bunch of spells. And consumables in case shit gets nasty. If it can be resisted, it probably will be resisted. Which leaves the irresistible stuff by default. Anything that could be added to make extended more interesting would either also have to be irresistable, or would have to bypass existing resists and use a new way to lower damage (stats, movement, maybe there's some other stuff that hasn't been used much).


You're thinking too linearly. There's plenty of things that can be made that aren't straight damage. For a few, better thought out ideas that came to mind today, one being an enemy who reflects spells back at the player, even if they're merely caught in the initial AoE, which would make Conjonukers actually need to think about where they're tossing storms. Another would be an enemy with a spell that strips buffs from you and inflicts damage for each one removed, making super-buffage both not entirely reliable and not entirely a good idea (right now, if the buff doesn't have any drawbacks, it's a no brainer to spam it). There could also be enemies who temporarily separate you from your god, preventing you from gaining or losing piety or having any benefits (or drawbacks) from said god until the effect wore off/the enemy was killed. Opponents who know a spell of some level of similarity to Yred's Pain Mirror would also be quite interesting and dangerous.


Would you prefer it not to be an RNG crapshoot? Maybe some enemies could have a pain aura: every living being in sight could passively lose 10% HP every turn (9/8/7% with rN). Would you prefer that to torment? Probably not. Things often being unpredictable is what makes crawl fun. I think something like this pain aura could reasonably replace torment on a few enemies, because torment really is overused.


Actually, I would prefer that. 10% might be a bit high for a permanent, full screen effect, but overall it'd pose a clear, consistent threat and whenever an enemy with that power showed up, you'd know the situation just changed.

Randomness is a major part of Crawl, but it's also very consistent. Enemies with pure RNG backing up whether they're dangerous or not isn't very consistent. As far as I know, most enemies are purely RNG. However, they're simple enough it doesn't matter much. But in some of the foes with more abilities, like Greater Mummies and Fiends, they could really use some sort of basic attack scripting. It doesn't even need to be a rigid script either, something like say "random action, Bolt of Whatever or Summon Demonic XP, random action, random action, Torment, repeat" could work quite easily. The scripted monsters would behave consistently, but would still be unpredictable as well.


Also note that enemies don't cast attacks you're immune to, so "Bolt of Bounces of rN+++" won't be used if you actually have rN+++.


Ok, Bolt of Bounces off rC+++ then.
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Slime Squisher

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Post Thursday, 29th December 2011, 10:58

Re: Torment

As I see it, the problem is that everything in the extended game has -- when you remove anything easily resistable or otherwise able to be trivialised -- a similar set of effects to pick from. I don't think Torment's the main problem.

I think that the underlying issue causing all this same-ness if that everything else can be resisted.

Add some extremely rare resistances. Or change the system that there are so many resistances that they'll never be able to collect them all. Add damage types that can't be resisted. Add more effects that ignore MR. Add some resistances that you can't have more than 1-2 pips of.

I'd rather just avoid the usual crawl technique of "If it's effective, add a drawback to it"
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Post Thursday, 29th December 2011, 18:18

Re: Torment

Possibly making rX+++ impossible to obtain without god abilities, mutations, and possibly unrands might be helpful (leaving most characters with only rX++ as a possibility). Changing rN+++ from immunity to resistance would help a lot.
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Post Thursday, 29th December 2011, 19:21

Re: Torment

Making the extended endgame more interesting is a topic unto itself. I don't think that torment is the main culprit here. It is used a lot; if there were better effects, we could tone down on torment.

greepish: there is a deep dwarf monster with injury mirror already, that is a reflection like the one you spoke about. I don't think it is used outside of ziggurats yet.
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Barkeep

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Post Friday, 30th December 2011, 05:23

Re: Torment

dpeg wrote:greepish: there is a deep dwarf monster with injury mirror already, that is a reflection like the one you spoke about. I don't think it is used outside of ziggurats yet.


I'm pretty sure they spawn in Abyss.
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Post Friday, 30th December 2011, 12:54

Re: Torment

If the main problem with Torment is that there is not enough variety in the things that make extended dangerous, why not add level-wide effects, like the -cTele of Zot:5, to each section of the endgame?
Dis could have Ponderous and -? AC).
Gehenna could have reduced Ice Magic power, rF-, and illuminating (not miscast) Glow.
Pan, naturally, would have a somewhat random set of "rules".
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Post Friday, 30th December 2011, 13:19

Re: Torment

The issue in extended is a low variety in tactical threats, not strategic. There's already a pretty good variety of strategic threats (even if sticky flame might be a tad overused).

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