Proposal: skill based amulets


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Bim

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Post Thursday, 11th April 2013, 10:57

Proposal: skill based amulets

Hello. I know there have been a lot of amulet discussions recently, so I think by that we can at least infer that it's not completely satisfactory at the moment.
Some issues are:
-They should all be strategic rather than tactical (gradient increase)
-They should be more powerful/interesting as they're currently mostly rubbish (except gourmand and possibly faith).
-There needs to be a lot more variety

To counter all these claims, I feel that having amulets that boost skills would be an interesting addition that would at least make them much more useful. Granted, they would lose their strength later on, but a plus 6-8 boost to spellcasting might be difficult to part with if you have low apts in it.
I envisage them as similar to Ash's boosting ability, but which grows over time instead of a straight boost (obviously it'd need to be capped). I feel this could become more than a non-trivial amount of time (see gourmand) and instantly lost if removed.
They should be weighted mostly towards the skills which everyone uses (Spellcasting, Fighting, dodging, armour, stealth) as otherwise it might become a bit too rare to find useful ones. I feel that they should be secondarily weighted towards the spell schools as they are 'magic' amulets, and most chars can find levels in a most spell schools some what desirable.
They could have different strengths (amulet of spellcasting +5) although probably a straight increase would be most straightforward.

As far as implementation, we already have the mechanisms with Ash, and we know that it works well and is desirable enough. It wouldn't take anything away from Ash (although they probably shouldn't stack) or manuals, as it's different enough in practise. I can't envisage this being too OP or undesirable, but the level of increase would need to be balanced. There could also be cursed versions which are negative (a -5 to 8 in spellcasting would be pretty bad for some chars)

Thoughts please!
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Post Thursday, 11th April 2013, 13:50

Re: Proposal: skill based amulets

I think it's an interesting idea, though I doubt the amulets need to be weighted toward spell schools. My only concern is thinking that they'd be a lot more trash to shuffle through later on in games, when you're looking for that one amulet you really want and blowing acquirements on jewelry. Or sifting through and identifying branch-end/zig hoards. But those are actually different problems.

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Post Thursday, 11th April 2013, 13:53

Re: Proposal: skill based amulets

Gourmand is actually pretty easily gamed. If you eat to Engorged then take it off and put it on again near starving I don't think you'd even notice that it takes 400 turns for it to kick in. That is unless you are sitting there casting spells that take 8000 nutrition or something.

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Post Thursday, 11th April 2013, 16:01

Re: Proposal: skill based amulets

Amulet of Inaccuracy
  • Once Identified, gain one-time ability: meld ring
  • Meld Ring:
    • Choose a ring to meld into the amulet. Ring must be identified, and non-equipped.
    • Chosen ring is destroyed (text will say melded into amulet)
    • Amulet gains all bonuses/penalties of the ring, and retains the inaccuracy penalty.
    • Amulet name changes to "Amulet of Inaccurate Foo", where Foo is everything appearing after "of" on the melded ring.
    • Amulet becomes an artefact.
    • Amulet loses meld ring ability.


  • This suggestion increases the number of amulets by the amount of rings the game has. This is done without changing the amount of amulets for the amulet-id minigame.
  • The amulet of inaccuracy is still a pita at the start. However, once ID-ed it gains a strategic potential.

Bim

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Post Thursday, 11th April 2013, 22:07

Re: Proposal: skill based amulets

Yeah, they probably don't need to be weighted, I would think they would lose usefulness as you go on, because by the time you're at Zigs/end game, you're probably not in much of a need to get a skill boost. I agree that it might create more unwanted stuff, but I think the argument of 'everyone would really want them and hoard them' is pretty much the same for Wucad Mu or potions of exp/curemut/whatever. It'd be better than currently where I don't bother id'ing any amulets after I've found resist mutation and gourmand.

Although that's an interesting idea Fergy, I do think it might be a bit complicated/hard to explain and it'd be way too different from the other amulets. Plus, inaccuracy is pretty much the only bad amulet at the moment, which I think is needed. It would be a great idea for a random god though!
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Post Friday, 12th April 2013, 04:03

Re: Proposal: skill based amulets

Bim wrote:Although that's an interesting idea Fergy, I do think it might be a bit complicated/hard to explain and it'd be way too different from the other amulets. Plus, inaccuracy is pretty much the only bad amulet at the moment, which I think is needed. It would be a great idea for a random god though!


The simple version of this idea (before I changed it): Allows player to equip 1 extra ring. I changed it because I thought that this would create more problems.

If you really want to add more amulets, I would suggest that you use bonuses that are from the same list as rings. Then add 1 caveat: IDing the base type of a ring will id the base type of the same amulet, and vice-versa.

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Post Friday, 12th April 2013, 04:06

Re: Proposal: skill based amulets

Fergy wrote:If you really want to add more amulets, I would suggest that you use bonuses that are from the same list as rings.


Why would duplicating the effects of existing items make amulets more interesting?

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Post Friday, 12th April 2013, 04:24

Re: Proposal: skill based amulets

nicolae wrote:
Fergy wrote:If you really want to add more amulets, I would suggest that you use bonuses that are from the same list as rings.


Why would duplicating the effects of existing items make amulets more interesting?
They could have different ranges of enchantments (higher bonuses)... Other than that, it doesn't.

However, that was not my goal when I suggested this. In game design, there is a maxim: Every item you add to the game, no matter how insignificant, makes the player stronger.

The common way to combat this insignificant buff is to decrease the spawn rate of every other amulet. This will happen naturally when its added to the item spawn list (every time the new item is spawned, it means 1 less possibly more useful item is created).

Crawl has another exception: The ID-minigame. Every item makes this minigame harder. My suggestion was aimed at keeping the difficulty of the ID-minigame the same. The part you left off in the quote explains my reasoning:
Fergy wrote:Then add 1 caveat: IDing the base type of a ring will id the base type of the same amulet, and vice-versa.

This keeps the ID-game essentially the same as it is now...

Bim

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Post Friday, 12th April 2013, 08:35

Re: Proposal: skill based amulets

In past discussions on amulets the design goal has always been stated to be that rings are tactical (easily swappable in combat) whereas amulets are strategic (you need to keep them on for a long time to get the benefits). I'm afraid I also really can't see the appeal of having amulets the same as rings, what I'm trying to suggest is that we take them further away from rings to add more interest the game in general whereas keeping them the same as rings just means more junk.
I do really like your proposal of allowing one more ring to be used or to enchant one item (like an amulet) with another, but I really feel these should be random god powers (look for the forum topic) and not on amulets, which should be pretty straight forward.
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Post Friday, 12th April 2013, 09:59

Re: Proposal: skill based amulets

Fergy wrote:The simple version of this idea (before I changed it): Allows player to equip 1 extra ring. I changed it because I thought that this would create more problems.


When I saw this original post before you edited it, I genuinely thought it was a joke, actually a very witty joke. I thought the joke was that "inaccuracy" meant you could no longer accurately count your rings so it allowed you to wear one more. This would have been much better if it had remained a joke.

Leaving aside for now all the reasons why allowing the player an extra ring (melded or no) is a huge problem, can I just ask: Why on earth would an amulet called "inaccuracy" suddenly allow you to meld a ring to it? Why not just invent a new amulet called, e.g., "amulet of melding things to it"?

Extrapolating this idea a bit further, why not just propose that we dump the amulet slot altogether and have 3 generic jewellery slots instead?

The point I'm trying to make is: there's a reason why ring effects aren't allowed in the amulet slot, and going against that (along with your other suggestion that new amulets should use ring brands) only reduces the distinction between the two types of jewellery rather than making amulets themselves more interesting in any way.

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Post Friday, 12th April 2013, 14:44

Re: Proposal: skill based amulets

mumra wrote:Leaving aside for now all the reasons why allowing the player an extra ring (melded or no) is a huge problem, can I just ask: Why on earth would an amulet called "inaccuracy" suddenly allow you to meld a ring to it? Why not just invent a new amulet called, e.g., "amulet of melding things to it"?
Image
Something like that is what I was thinking of. I would also assume that a ring worn in such a way wouldn't give as much power as if it was worn directly on the body. Cutting the power of the rings directly would require a lot of effort for some rings. Maybe it would make more sense to add a standard nerf to all rings worn in this fashion. Maybe the inaccuracy penalty would make sense.

And yes, a new amulet, necklace, would also make sense.

mumra wrote:Extrapolating this idea a bit further, why not just propose that we dump the amulet slot altogether and have 3 generic jewellery slots instead?
This also makes sense to a limited degree. A ring could be worn on as an amulet, but an amulet could not be worn as a ring. This goes with the design goal of having amulets being stronger than rings.

mumra wrote:The point I'm trying to make is: there's a reason why ring effects aren't allowed in the amulet slot, and going against that (along with your other suggestion that new amulets should use ring brands) only reduces the distinction between the two types of jewellery rather than making amulets themselves more interesting in any way.
I don't see it blurring the distinction as much as I see it enforcing the idea that amulets be stronger than rings. Consider it a check on the power of amulets. If players are using rings as amulets end game, it means the designers have failed in their intention of having amulets be more powerful than rings (either that, or the RNG is extremely harsh).

A player should never have gourmand in a ring slot, but having a ring brand in an amulet slot should be acceptable.

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Post Friday, 12th April 2013, 15:26

Re: Proposal: skill based amulets

Fergy wrote:A ring could be worn on as an amulet, but an amulet could not be worn as a ring. This goes with the design goal of having amulets being stronger than rings.


Rings are very specific about how they should be worn. They have to be on your finger, and on the correct finger for that matter, and you can't even wear two on one finger; if you ignore any of these things then the magic just doesn't work. So I seriously doubt they will work just dangling around your neck on a chain, otherwise they'd probably work just sat in your backpack; and I'm sorry but I'm not going to accept that photo as evidence because there is clearly nothing magical happening. What might look like glowing runes is in fact just some clever lighting set up by a jewellery photographer. (Our shopkeepers could perhaps take one or two lessons from this.)

By the way I can easily "wear" an amulet on my hand just by wrapping it around my fingers. But I get the same problem, for some reason the damn thing doesn't work no matter what I try.

Fergy wrote:I don't see it blurring the distinction as much as I see it enforcing the idea that amulets be stronger than rings. Consider it a check on the power of amulets. If players are using rings as amulets end game, it means the designers have failed in their intention of having amulets be more powerful than rings (either that, or the RNG is extremely harsh).


So what you're suggesting is that someone takes the time to design and code a non-trivial feature, just because it proves we've got everything else right when nobody uses that feature?
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Post Friday, 12th April 2013, 16:05

Re: Proposal: skill based amulets

Fergy wrote:Something like that is what I was thinking of.

Are you aware that the one ring (or any magic ring in any fiction) doesn't do anything when worn around the neck? To turn invisible, they have to put it on their finger.
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Bim

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Post Friday, 12th April 2013, 20:42

Re: Proposal: skill based amulets

Although I do get what you're trying to say Fergy, I just don't think it's going to fly as it seems to be reducing the individuality of items and incredibly convoluted (not to mention not fitting with most standard fantasy).

What about skill based amulets? Is it too boring an idea? I've pondered it for a while, and it's the only strategic addition which I can think of which isn't either stealing from god powers (or potential random god powers) or mostly useless.
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Post Saturday, 13th April 2013, 08:24

Re: Proposal: skill based amulets

Oh c'mon minmay, the stasis amulet is awesome until you realize you're totally screwed by it and your blink scrolls are so much garbage.....=)


But also, wouldn't making 3 generic jewelry slots somewhat invalidate octopodes? I mean, I don't like them a whole lot, and i guess it can be worked around, but it seems to me that turning things into "generic jewelry" slots would make things a bigger pain.
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Post Saturday, 13th April 2013, 09:56

Re: Proposal: skill based amulets

note that opinions on the power of amulets varies a lot, even among good players. For example, I've heard many players say that conservation is useless and elliptic says it's the best one. I think it depends a lot on playstyle.
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Bim

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Post Saturday, 13th April 2013, 11:07

Re: Proposal: skill based amulets

I'm not saying that amulets are completely underpowered (gourmand is very useful for mid game spell casters, and similarlly faith is useful for some god builds - conservation/rmut/rcorr also have their uses) and nneed to be instantly buffed, it's just that there really isn't much variety, and the whole point (as I understood it) was to make amulets strategic, rather than swap out when you see something that mutates/corrodes you (like with rings).

Skill buff amulets might make it a more interesting choice, because hypothetically, you could say 'I've got on +8 spellpower, but I want to put on rmut (if they stayed the same) to not get mutated - but if I do, I don't have enough spell success to deal with other things.' If it went up on an xp based scale (as in, you couldn't just wander around/wait for it to charge up) then you'd be forced to make more interesting (perhaps) decisions.
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Post Saturday, 13th April 2013, 16:51

Re: Proposal: skill based amulets

I think conservation is simultaneously not really very good (but tremendously convenient) and also often the best amulet.

Bim

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Post Saturday, 13th April 2013, 19:48

Re: Proposal: skill based amulets

I wouldn't call myself a great player, but I've got quite a few wins under my belt and I do view conservation as good (especially if a cloak of preservation isn't found) - but more of a convenience rather than something actually really useful - it stops me having to be as careful about potions/scrolls, but as it's not 100% (you'll still lose a scroll or two from stick flame for instance) it isn't really that great. However, as most of the other amulets are pretty poor, it is still often a good choice if no randart is found.
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