Discussion: Improving Skalds


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Lair Larrikin

Posts: 22

Joined: Wednesday, 19th October 2011, 04:30

Post Saturday, 11th May 2013, 06:02

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

I played a HOSk^Oka using commit 18c88e7 from trunk (just before the changes were reverted). If I understand this thread correctly, that was the unrestricted SoS and Spectral Weapon (they certainly didn't seem restricted!). I got to level 15 after clearing lair, then proceeded to make a series of poor decisions involving the orc high priests in orc:$. I'd played some old skalds before, but had never been sure how to actually progress them. I definitely enjoyed the new spells. Here's my take (spoilered for length):
Spoiler: show
Infusion and Spectral Weapon were amazing buffs. I used infusion whenever possible at first, then rushed for Spectral Weapon once I had a little weapon skill. I chose to hold off on song of slaying until I felt strong enough to actually take on packs of enemies. I should note that my playstyle changed drastically when I found an early ring of magical power. It went from every fight having to ask "do I want shroud for this fight at the expense of fewer infused swings?" to "Infusion every fight, other buffs as needed, and only run out of mp on long fights". I imagine the choices would've been more pressing without that ring as I progressed deeper with a relatively meager mp reserve. While SoS was good for packs, Infusion was great for initial damage as well as one-on-one fights, such as the Dragon in my Lair:$.

The spectral weapon's AI certainly had its quirks, but when it contributed, I really felt it. I was using axes, and noticed that while the spectral weapon had cleaving, it could still only attack enemies that I'd personally attacked. As such, the damage output vs crowds varied wildly as it danced around. Occasionally, it'd set up just opposite me and we'd joint cleave 3 enemies at once. Other times it'd just pick away at my primary target. I'm not sure what behavior (full cleave would probably be too strong? No cleaving would be dissapointing. The current setup is heavily based on lucky positioning from the weapon) would be best, but this should be an edge case to consider. I didn't get around to testing it, but it should similarly be considered if a spectral polearm has reaching (it'd be an interesting property if it could attack from behind you in 1-wide corridors). I'd also picked up lethal infusion from a book and should note that the spectral weapon would be draining for the SW duration, as it became a copy of the weapon at time of casting. I noted that a later patch makes the spectral weapon generic. Does this remove the brand as well? While I can certainly see it being strong (what's better than an axe of draining? Two axes of draining!), I enjoyed being able to clone my battleaxe of flaming to double my hydra decapitation. I'm honestly not sure I would have been strong enough to take on hydras without that capability (my defenses were largely mediocre by my own choices)

SoS was interesting once I got it running. The variable status light works well as an indicator. When I first met yak packs, I couldn't kill them quickly enough to build up the song. Green rat packs were hilarious, the first couple would put up a fight, but the tail end of the pack would just be wiped. I didn't get enough charms through the negative aptitude for the song to last beyond what I could see until after I left lair. My record in lair was +12 at the end of a green rat fight, and by the time I'd sacrificed the corpses the song was wearing off. Later I got up to +19 from a combined centaur + big kobold + yak pack in D. By the end of that fight, I was 1-shotting yaks between the slaying and my battleaxe of draining. Felt almost like a mini axe of woe for the brief moments it persisted. If I understand correctly, this has been nerfed, which makes sense; it certainly had the potential to get way too effective for 2 mana. It may have been partially due to my low spell power, but I generally didn't breach 7 slaying outside of lucky combined packs like that one time.

I also didn't reach spirit shield, partially due to my poor charms aptitude, so I can't say anything about it.

In summary, it was a great run, and between the new spells and a hefty amount of luck (early ring of mp, early book with lethal infusion, okie giving me a battleaxe of flaming on Lair:2, then later a battleaxe of electrocution) I had no trouble getting to and through lair. It was instead my forgetting to invest in sufficient defenses and stupidity on my part (my scroll of blinking got burned and I didn't notice. I then proceeded to tank 2 summoned sun demons in melee) that ended the character prematurely. It almost certainly needs nerfs from the version I played (if the spectral weapon wasn't hanging out behind me half the fights, it would've been too much of a highly scaling buff), but I can't say if the later patch is insufficient, enough, or too far. I'll definitely be checking back in on this after the tournament.

  Code:
 Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup version 0.13-a0-652-g18c88e7 (console) character file.

69297 Sqald the Severer (level 15, -7/106 HPs)
             Began as a Hill Orc Skald on May 9, 2013.
             Was the Champion of Okawaru.
             Killed by divine providence
             ... invoked by an orc high priest
              (16 damage)
             ... on Level 4 of the Orcish Mines on May 10, 2013.
             The game lasted 03:22:27 (31746 turns).

Sqald the Severer (Hill Orc Skald)                 Turns: 31746, Time: 03:22:27

HP  -7/106       AC 27     Str 20      XL: 15   Next: 20%
MP  27/37        EV  8     Int 17      God: Okawaru [******]
Gold 2415        SH  0     Dex 10      Spells:  9 memorised,  7 levels left

Res.Fire  : . . .   See Invis. : +   a - +4,+5 battleaxe
Res.Cold  : + . .   Warding    : .   y - +3 chain mail {rC+}
Life Prot.: . . .   Conserve   : .   (no shield)
Res.Poison: +       Res.Corr.  : .   g - +2 helmet {SInv}
Res.Elec. : .       Clarity    : .   j - +1 elf cloak
Sust.Abil.: . .     Spirit.Shd : .   k - +0 pair of gloves {Str+3}
Res.Mut.  : +       Stasis     : .   J - +2 pair of boots
Res.Rott. : .       Flight     : .   M - amulet of resist mutation
Saprovore : + . .                    o - ring of magical power
                                     P - ring of poison resistance

@: regenerating, somewhat resistant to hostile enchantments, extremely
unstealthy
A: hooves 1, saprovore 1
a: Heroism, Finesse, Renounce Religion


You were on level 4 of the Orcish Mines.
You worshipped Okawaru.
Okawaru was exalted by your worship.
You were hungry.

You visited 4 branches of the dungeon, and saw 27 of its levels.
You also visited: Sewer.

You collected 2645 gold pieces.
You spent 250 gold pieces at shops.

Inventory:

Hand weapons
 a - a +4,+5 battleaxe (weapon)
 b - a +4,+0 battleaxe of flaming
 c - a +3,+0 orcish battleaxe of electrocution
 d - the +8,+1 battleaxe "Ocvavvet" {venom, Dex-1}
   (Okawaru gifted it to you on level 14 of the Dungeon)   
   
   It poisons the flesh of those it strikes.
   
   It affects your dexterity (-1).
 q - a +0,+3 orcish dagger of draining (quivered)
 r - a +0,+0 orcish spear
 s - a +0,+0 orcish spear
 v - a +0,+0 orcish spear
Armour
 g - a +2 helmet of see invisible (worn)
 h - the +7 ring mail of the Cooper {Str+3 Dex-1}
   (You found it on level 4 of the Lair of Beasts)   
   
   It affects your strength (+3).
   It affects your dexterity (-1).
 j - a +1 elven cloak (worn)
 k - a +0 pair of gloves of strength (worn)
 m - a +0 cloak of darkness
 n - a +1 orcish plate armour of fire resistance
 y - a +3 chain mail of cold resistance (worn)
 J - a +2 pair of boots (worn)
Magical devices
 i - a wand of paralysis (10)
 l - a wand of lightning (6)
 t - a wand of disintegration (13)
 I - a wand of teleportation (3)
 Q - a wand of magic darts (10)
Comestibles
 w - 3 bread rations
 z - 5 rotting chunks of troll flesh
 K - 3 apples
Scrolls
 x - 3 scrolls of fear
 V - 4 scrolls of fog
 Z - a scroll of magic mapping
Jewellery
 f - an uncursed ring of sustain abilities
 o - a ring of magical power (right hand)
 F - an uncursed ring of fire
 M - an amulet of resist mutation (around neck)
 P - a ring of poison resistance (left hand)
 T - an uncursed amulet of rage
 X - a +5 ring of intelligence
Potions
 p - 3 potions of agility
 u - a potion of invisibility
 G - 3 potions of flight
 N - a potion of speed
 O - 2 potions of heal wounds
 R - 10 potions of curing
 S - a potion of might
Magical staves
 e - an uncursed staff of wizardry


   Skills:
 - Level 2.4 Fighting
 - Level 20.0 Axes
 - Level 14.1 Armour
 - Level 5.0 Dodging
 - Level 3.0 Traps
 - Level 5.3 Spellcasting
 - Level 2.0 Conjurations
 + Level 13.5 Charms
 - Level 4.0 Summonings
 - Level 2.2 Necromancy
 - Level 4.8 Translocations
 - Level 10.0 Invocations


You had 7 spell levels left.
You knew the following spells:

 Your Spells              Type           Power        Failure   Level  Hunger
a - Infusion              Chrm           ######       1%          1    None
b - Shroud of Golubria    Chrm/Tloc      #####.....   2%          2    #......
c - Song of Slaying       Chrm           ######....   1%          2    #......
d - Lethal Infusion       Chrm/Necr      ####......   4%          2    #......
f - Summon Butterflies    Summ           ###.....     17%         1    None
g - Apportation           Tloc           ###.......   12%         1    None
k - Blink                 Tloc           N/A          17%         2    #......
r - Regeneration          Chrm/Necr      ####......   10%         3    ###....
u - Spectral Weapon       Conj/Chrm      ####......   10%         3    ###....


Dungeon Overview and Level Annotations

Branches:
Dungeon (14/27)            Temple (1/1) D:4             Orc (4/4) D:7
    Elf (0/3) Orc:4          Lair (8/8) D:12          Swamp (0/5) Lair:4
 Spider (0/5) Lair:3        Slime (0/6) Lair:6     

Altars:
Ashenzari
Cheibriados
Elyvilon
Fedhas
Kikubaaqudgha
Makhleb
Nemelex Xobeh
Okawaru
Sif Muna
Trog
Vehumet
Xom
Yredelemnul
Zin
the Shining One
Beogh
Jiyva

Shops:
D:5: =  D:6: [  D:7: [  D:12: (  Orc:1: =  Orc:2: [*?  Orc:4: %

Annotations
D:4 Pikel
D:6 exclusions: centaur and ogre
D:11 exclusion: 3 doors


Innate Abilities, Weirdness & Mutations

You can tolerate rotten meat.
You have large cloven feet.


Message History

The orc high priest is lightly wounded.
Your chain mail prevents you from hitting the sun demon.
The sun demon is lightly wounded.
You hit the orc priest.
The orc priest is severely wounded.
The sun demon hits you! You are engulfed in flames!
* * * LOW HITPOINT WARNING * * *
The orc high priest calls upon Beogh to heal the orc priest.
The orc priest is healed somewhat.
The orc priest mumbles some strange prayers to Beogh against you.
Something smites you!
* * * LOW HITPOINT WARNING * * *
An orc knight comes into view. It is wielding an orcish war axe.
The orc warrior hits you with an orcish glaive!
* * * LOW HITPOINT WARNING * * *
The orc knight roars a battle-cry!
The orcs go into a battle-frenzy!
The orc high priest calls down the wrath of Beogh upon you.
Something smites you!
You die...

                 #.##...##
                ##.##....#
      . #  ##   #..##....#
      ∩.#.##o  ##.###..)##
      #....4o ##..# #...#
       #..34)##)3## #...#
           #o43)##  #...#
           ######   #..##
      ###############o.#
  #####...#.....)3o...##
 ##.#...........@o...##
##..............o#.###
.##.................##
..##.>...............####
....[................##.##
....)#).............#....#
...))....................#
....)......<.....^......##
...).....[).....).......##
.........)...............#
..............#.........##


You could see an orc knight, an orc high priest, a sun demon, an orc warrior
(frenzied) and an orc priest (frenzied).

Vanquished Creatures
  2 orc warlords (Orc:4)
  A hydra (Lair:8)
  Josephine (D:13)
  A dragon (Lair:8)
  2 orc high priests (Orc:4)
  2 death yaks (Lair:8)
  2 centaur warriors (D:14)
  3 orc knights (Orc:4)
  2 skeletal warriors (D:13)
  2 unseen horrors
  A lindwurm (Lair:8)
  Joseph (Orc:2)
  3 orc sorcerers (Orc:4)
  A cyclops (D:12)
  3 hill giants
  A hydra skeleton (D:8)
  Maurice (Orc:1)
  2 griffons
  2 elephant slugs
  An orange demon (Orc:4)
  A red wasp (D:10)
  A hellwing (Orc:4)
  6 spiny frogs
  A queen ant (Lair:2)
  14 slime creatures
  2 black mambas
  5 hill giant skeletons
  12 ugly things
  6 komodo dragons
  A two-headed ogre (D:12)
  7 elephants (Lair:7)
  5 basilisks
  A grizzly bear (Lair:3)
  7 blink frogs
  2 wyverns
  A trapdoor spider simulacrum (D:14)
  A blue devil (Orc:4)
  3 trolls
  3 vampire mosquitoes (D:12)
  29 yaks
  A hungry ghost (D:9)
  A chaos spawn (Orc:4)
  A vampire (D:14)
  A ynoxinul (Orc:4)
  A neqoxec (Orc:4)
  3 sharks (D:12)
  4 hippogriffs
  4 steam dragons (Lair:8)
  6 war dogs (Lair:8)
  2 necrophages (D:13)
  4 fire drakes
  Menkaure (D:4)
  3 manticores
  A manticore zombie (D:11)
  A giant slug zombie (D:14)
  2 mottled dragons
  22 soldier ants
  3 boulder beetles
  14 ogres
  3 slaves
  3 trapdoor spiders
  A manticore skeleton (D:10)
  15 giant goldfish
  3 sky beasts
  28 centaurs
  2 ice beasts (D:12)
  A phantom (D:4)
  30 orc warriors
  2 swamp drakes (Lair:8)
  2 wargs
  12 big kobolds
  Sigmund (D:7)
  13 crocodiles
  A giant frog zombie (D:12)
  8 water moccasins
  7 giant slugs
  13 giant frogs
  A gnoll sergeant (D:12)
  2 boring beetles
  6 agate snails
  An eye of draining (D:13)
  11 wights
  2 electric eels (Lair:3)
  A big kobold zombie (D:11)
  4 jellyfish (Lair:3)
  11 crimson imps
  2 shadows
  A vampire bat (Orc:3)
  Dowan (D:4)
  An ogre skeleton (D:6)
  29 orc priests
  A crocodile skeleton (D:13)
  4 goliath beetles
  10 hounds
  A hound skeleton (D:6)
  9 iguanas
  8 spiders (Lair:3)
  3 big fish
  23 worker ants
  10 porcupines
  An orange rat (Sewer)
  26 orc wizards
  7 jellies
  23 sheep
  10 killer bees
  Ijyb (D:2)
  2 mummies
  24 adders
  45 green rats
  A scorpion zombie (D:5)
  6 giant centipedes
  7 gnolls
  2 orc zombies (Orc:4)
  4 worms
  4 ufetubi (Orc:4)
  6 grey rats (Sewer)
  A bat skeleton (D:4)
  3 giant eyeballs
  11 giant geckos
  8 oozes
  173 orcs
  5 ball pythons
  33 bats
  6 giant cockroaches
  21 hobgoblins
  13 kobolds
  5 giant newts
  22 goblins
  15 jackals
  A jackal skeleton (D:9)
  A kobold zombie (D:7)
  2 orc skeletons
  22 quokkas
  32 rats
  20 fungi
  13 plants
1080 creatures vanquished.

Vanquished Creatures (collateral kills)
  4 hydras
  4 death yaks (Lair:8)
  A hill giant (D:13)
  An elephant (Lair:7)
  2 black mambas
  An ugly thing (D:13)
  5 spiny frogs
  6 blink frogs
  4 komodo dragons
  3 trolls
  A wyvern (D:12)
  3 hippogriffs
  A vampire mosquito (D:12)
  2 ice beasts (D:8)
  4 yaks
  2 manticore skeletons
  An orc warrior (D:9)
  A giant goldfish (Lair:3)
  Duvessa (D:4)
  2 giant slugs
  A wolf (Lair:5)
  A giant frog (D:10)
  4 crocodiles
  2 wights (D:8)
  A big fish (D:12)
  An orc priest (D:5)
  3 orc wizards
  An iguana (Lair:8)
  4 jellies
  3 green rats (Lair:3)
  An adder (Lair:7)
  4 oozes (D:8)
  5 orcs
  A jackal (Lair:5)
  A fungus (Lair:7)
  A plant (Lair:8)
83 creatures vanquished.

Vanquished Creatures (others)
  50 spectral weapons
  An orc wizard (D:9)
  An orc (D:5)
  A kobold (D:1)
  A quokka (Lair:4)
  3 rats
  13 fungi
  5 plants (Lair:8)
75 creatures vanquished.

Grand Total: 1238 creatures vanquished

Notes
Turn   | Place    | Note
--------------------------------------------------------------
     0 | D:1      | Sqald, the Hill Orc Skald, began the quest for the Orb.
     0 | D:1      | Reached XP level 1. HP: 17/17 MP: 2/2
    54 | D:1      | Reached skill level 3 in Charms
   185 | D:1      | Reached XP level 2. HP: 15/24 MP: 0/3
   846 | D:1      | Reached XP level 3. HP: 29/29 MP: 0/5
  1476 | D:2      | Noticed Ijyb
  1484 | D:2      | Learned a level 2 spell: Shroud of Golubria
  1495 | D:2      | Killed Ijyb
  1495 | D:2      | Reached skill level 4 in Axes
  1508 | D:2      | Reached XP level 4. HP: 25/37 MP: 2/7
  2242 | D:3      | Reached skill level 5 in Axes
  2453 | D:3      | Found a glowing drain.
  2469 | D:3      | Learned a level 3 spell: Regeneration
  2543 | D:3      | Reached skill level 6 in Axes
  2543 | D:3      | Reached XP level 5. HP: 19/42 MP: 8/8
  2593 | Sewer    | Entered a sewer
  3083 | Sewer    | Reached XP level 6. HP: 18/49 MP: 1/10
  3288 | D:3      | Found a burning altar of Makhleb.
  3534 | D:3      | Learned a level 3 spell: Spectral Weapon
  3551 | D:3      | Noticed a centaur
  3687 | D:3      | Killed a centaur
  3687 | D:3      | Reached skill level 5 in Charms
  4240 | D:4      | Noticed Duvessa
  4240 | D:4      | Noticed Dowan
  4257 | D:4      | Killed Duvessa
  4257 | D:4      | Reached XP level 7. HP: 46/56 MP: 5/11
  4277 | D:4      | Killed Dowan
  4285 | D:4      | Found a staircase to the Ecumenical Temple.
  4315 | D:4      | Noticed Pikel
  4315 | D:4      | Noticed Menkaure
  4322 | Temple   | Entered the Ecumenical Temple
  4531 | Temple   | Became a worshipper of Warmaster Okawaru
  4903 | D:4      | Killed Menkaure
  4903 | D:4      | Reached skill level 1 in Necromancy
  5037 | D:5      | Entered Level 5 of the Dungeon
  5209 | D:5      | Reached skill level 1 in Conjurations
  5320 | D:5      | Found Uwuomuli's Jewellery Emporium.
  6175 | D:5      | Reached skill level 7 in Axes
  6175 | D:5      | Reached XP level 8. HP: 62/62 MP: 11/13
  6177 | D:5      | Acquired Okawaru's first power
  6676 | D:6      | Reached skill level 8 in Axes
  6718 | D:6      | Found a blossoming altar of Fedhas.
  7009 | D:7      | Found Phasm's Armour Boutique.
  7146 | D:7      | Reached skill level 9 in Axes
  7155 | D:7      | Noticed Sigmund
  7606 | D:4      | Paralysed by a giant eyeball for 3 turns
  7632 | Temple   | Learned a level 2 spell: Song of Slaying
  7963 | D:5      | Bought an uncursed ring of see invisible for 165 gold pieces
  8037 | D:7      | Killed Sigmund
  8134 | D:7      | Found a staircase to the Orcish Mines.
  8265 | D:7      | Reached skill level 10 in Axes
  8265 | D:7      | Reached XP level 9. HP: 35/68 MP: 3/14
  8306 | D:7      | Learned a level 1 spell: Summon Butterflies
  8365 | D:8      | Reached skill level 1 in Summonings
  8424 | D:8      | Noticed a slime creature
  8488 | D:8      | Killed a slime creature
  9311 | D:8      | Found an ancient bone altar of Kikubaaqudgha.
  9392 | D:8      | Noticed a four-headed hydra skeleton
  9416 | D:8      | Killed a hydra skeleton
  9487 | D:8      | Found a sparkling altar of Nemelex Xobeh.
  9583 | D:8      | Reached XP level 10. HP: 46/75 MP: 2/16
 10214 | D:8      | Learned a level 2 spell: Lethal Infusion
 10441 | D:9      | Learned a level 2 spell: Blink
 10443 | D:9      | Learned a level 1 spell: Apportation
 10611 | D:9      | Reached skill level 1 in Traps
 11045 | D:10     | Entered Level 10 of the Dungeon
 11048 | D:10     | Reached skill level 1 in Dodging
 11111 | D:10     | Noticed an unseen horror
 11134 | D:10     | Killed an unseen horror
 11406 | D:10     | Acquired Okawaru's second power
 11406 | D:10     | Reached skill level 11 in Axes
 11908 | D:10     | Reached skill level 5 in Invocations
 12286 | D:10     | Reached XP level 11. HP: 73/81 MP: 15/21
 12313 | D:10     | Noticed a hill giant
 12330 | D:10     | Killed a hill giant
 12477 | D:10     | Noticed a red wasp
 12484 | D:10     | Killed a red wasp
 12676 | D:11     | Noticed an eight-headed hydra
 12676 | D:11     | Noticed an unseen horror
 12844 | D:11     | Noticed a hill giant
 13072 | D:11     | Killed a hill giant
 13384 | D:11     | Reached skill level 10 in Invocations
 13520 | D:11     | Found a bloodstained altar of Trog.
 13991 | D:11     | Identified 2 scrolls of acquirement
 14066 | D:12     | Reached skill level 12 in Axes
 14252 | D:12     | Found Moudgh's Antique Weapon Shop.
 14526 | D:12     | Reached skill level 13 in Axes
 14646 | D:12     | Found a staircase to the Lair.
 14833 | Lair:1   | Entered Level 1 of the Lair of Beasts
 15011 | Lair:1   | Reached skill level 14 in Axes
 15720 | Lair:1   | Found an iron altar of Okawaru.
 15750 | Lair:1   | Reached skill level 5 in Dodging
 16768 | Lair:2   | Reached XP level 12. HP: 82/88 MP: 10/25
 16831 | Lair:2   | Reached skill level 5 in Armour
 17161 | Lair:2   | Received a gift from Okawaru
 17344 | Lair:2   | Reached skill level 15 in Axes
 17846 | Lair:3   | Found a hole to the Spider Nest.
 18443 | Lair:3   | Reached skill level 16 in Axes
 18812 | Lair:3   | Noticed a six-headed hydra
 18830 | Lair:3   | Killed a two-headed hydra
 19286 | Lair:4   | Found a staircase to the Swamp.
 19376 | Lair:4   | Reached skill level 17 in Axes
 19449 | Lair:4   | Noticed an eight-headed hydra
 19571 | Lair:4   | Killed a five-headed hydra
 19618 | Lair:4   | Noticed a four-headed hydra
 19630 | Lair:4   | Killed a two-headed hydra
 19656 | Lair:4   | Got a bloodstained ring mail
 19746 | Lair:3   | Identified the cursed +7 ring mail of the Cooper {Str+3 Dex-1} (You found it on level 4 of the Lair of Beasts)
 20055 | Lair:5   | Noticed a four-headed hydra
 20065 | Lair:5   | Killed a hydra
 20065 | Lair:5   | Reached skill level 18 in Axes
 20593 | Lair:5   | Found a glowing golden altar of the Shining One.
 21450 | Lair:6   | Reached XP level 13. HP: 93/93 MP: 26/26
 21466 | Lair:6   | Reached skill level 19 in Axes
 21591 | Lair:6   | Found a viscous altar of Jiyva.
 21591 | Lair:6   | Found a staircase to the Slime Pits.
 22327 | Lair:7   | Received a gift from Okawaru
 22502 | Lair:6   | Reached skill level 20 in Axes
 23286 | Lair:8   | Entered Level 8 of the Lair of Beasts
 23299 | Lair:8   | Reached skill level 10 in Armour
 23492 | Lair:8   | Noticed a dragon
 23740 | Lair:8   | Killed a dragon
 23740 | Lair:8   | Received a gift from Okawaru
 24407 | Lair:8   | Reached XP level 14. HP: 86/101 MP: 5/27
 24514 | Lair:8   | Noticed a six-headed hydra
 24524 | Lair:8   | Killed a three-headed hydra
 25419 | Lair:2   | Gained mutation: You have large cloven feet. [potion of beneficial mutation]
 25675 | D:12     | Reached skill level 1 in Translocations
 25903 | D:12     | Received a gift from Okawaru
 26416 | D:13     | Noticed Josephine
 26435 | D:13     | Killed Josephine
 26693 | D:13     | Reached skill level 10 in Charms
 26818 | D:13     | Received a gift from Okawaru
 26820 | D:13     | Got a polished glaive {god gift}
 27033 | D:13     | Identified the glaive of Extinguishment {god gift, elec, rN+ Dex+2} (Okawaru gifted it to you on level 13 of the Dungeon)
 27356 | D:14     | Entered Level 14 of the Dungeon
 27607 | D:14     | Killed an unseen horror
 27760 | D:14     | Received a gift from Okawaru
 27775 | D:14     | Got a twisted battleaxe {god gift}
 27789 | D:14     | Identified the battleaxe "Ocvavvet" {god gift, venom, Dex-1} (Okawaru gifted it to you on level 14 of the Dungeon)
 27980 | D:14     | Reached XP level 15. HP: 106/106 MP: 26/28
 28677 | Orc:1    | Entered Level 1 of the Orcish Mines
 28689 | Orc:1    | Found a roughly hewn altar of Beogh.
 28720 | Orc:1    | You fall through a shaft!
 28728 | Orc:2    | Noticed Joseph
 28743 | Orc:2    | Killed Joseph
 28770 | Orc:2    | Found Twiratidde's General Store.
 28776 | Orc:2    | Found Puxeuqog's Armour Boutique.
 28783 | Orc:2    | Bought a +0 pair of gloves of strength for 85 gold pieces
 29020 | Orc:1    | Found Wiusmel's Jewellery Shop.
 29021 | Orc:1    | Noticed Maurice
 29028 | Orc:1    | Killed Maurice
 29287 | Orc:2    | Found Oxeoh's Magic Scroll Shop.
 29453 | Orc:3    | Reached skill level 5 in Spellcasting
 29758 | Orc:4    | Entered Level 4 of the Orcish Mines
 29783 | Orc:4    | Found a staircase to the Elven Halls.
 30345 | Orc:4    | Noticed an orc warlord
 30370 | Orc:4    | Killed an orc warlord
 30641 | Orc:4    | Reached XP level 14. HP: 68/101 MP: 11/36
 30713 | Orc:4    | Found a roughly hewn altar of Beogh.
 30740 | Orc:4    | Reached XP level 15. HP: 64/106 MP: 0/28
 30742 | Orc:4    | Received a gift from Okawaru
 30874 | Orc:4    | Noticed an orc warlord
 30886 | Orc:4    | Killed an orc warlord
 31466 | Orc:4    | Found Miudiep's Food Emporium.
 31746 | Orc:4    | Killed from afar by an orc high priest


Action                   |  1- 3 |  4- 6 |  7- 9 | 10-12 | 13-15 || total
-------------------------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------++-------
Melee: Hand axe          |    94 |   226 |   516 |       |       ||   836
       Battleaxe         |       |       |     4 |  1086 |  1277 ||  2367
       War axe           |       |       |       |     7 |       ||     7
Throw: Dart              |       |       |     6 |       |       ||     6
       Hand axe          |       |       |     3 |       |       ||     3
 Cast: Infusion          |    14 |    38 |    48 |   101 |    86 ||   287
       Shroud of Golubri |     1 |    22 |    35 |    57 |    33 ||   148
       Spectral Weapon   |       |     4 |    36 |    56 |    29 ||   125
       Regeneration      |       |     1 |     9 |    71 |    56 ||   137
       Song of Slaying   |       |       |     4 |    33 |    61 ||    98
       Summon Butterflie |       |       |     2 |       |       ||     2
       Lethal Infusion   |       |       |       |    48 |    30 ||    78
       Apportation       |       |       |       |     4 |     2 ||     6
       Blink             |       |       |       |       |     2 ||     2
Invok: Heroism           |       |       |       |     1 |     1 ||     2
       Finesse           |       |       |       |       |     1 ||     1
Evoke: Wand              |       |       |       |     7 |     5 ||    12
  Use: Potion            |     2 |     2 |     2 |     1 |     5 ||    12
       Scroll            |       |     5 |    12 |    18 |    10 ||    45
 Stab: Distracted        |       |       |     4 |     2 |     2 ||     8
       Sleeping          |       |       |     2 |     4 |       ||     6
       Confused          |       |       |       |       |     2 ||     2



Bugs:
It's possible some of these are already fixed or at least known, since I was on an old patch, but just in case.
Spectral Weapon never followed through stairs.
I noticed that, since it wouldn't follow me through stairs, that I could somehow cast 2 simultaneous weapons on separate floors (and ascend the stairs to find my original still intact).
The somewhat luck based cleaving edge case mentioned in the above infodump. Might not actually need changing.

It makes sense that Infusion costs more MP when cleaving through monsters, as you're getting the Infusion damage on every hit. However, I noticed occasionally I'd be fighting while partially surrounded by plants/fungi (I got the Lair entry surrounded by dense firewood and various animals) and would rapidly be losing MP even through my ring. It might be an acceptable cost that should affect play style, requiring a retreat from such battlegrounds. However, depending on how infusion is supposed to be flavored (channel your energy for raw barely-contained power or use your magical skill to deftly enhance your attacks), it might make sense to skip infusion on firewood (if the code allows it, maybe only indirectly targeted firewood, but that might be too inconsistent).

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Bim

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Post Wednesday, 15th May 2013, 19:27

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

Was there any reason this was reverted/is it coming back? I never got a chance to have a go and it sounded great!
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Dungeon Master

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Post Wednesday, 15th May 2013, 19:41

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

It was very unfinished and committed accidentally. I imagine there'll be more interest in working on it and merging properly after the tournament.
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Post Thursday, 16th May 2013, 04:41

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

I think no one plays Skalds because no one knows what the name means.
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Post Thursday, 16th May 2013, 08:52

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

XuaXua wrote:I think no one plays Skalds because no one knows what the name means.

There is no way I could possibly agree more. Literally the most unknown and needlessly pretentious class name ever.
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Post Thursday, 16th May 2013, 09:16

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

I sense flagrant exaggeration here.

It's far more likely that Skalds are unpopular because their book is kind of meh.

The problem with the name is that even if you know what it's supposed to mean, the class doesn't really deliver what you'd expect from that. The new version is a far more literal interpretation of the meaning (note: correct use of the word 'literal') and I think this will make the theme much more satisfying as well as the spells being new and unique.

Bim

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Post Thursday, 16th May 2013, 12:17

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

I was just over-exaggerating the hatred towards it ;)
Regardless, I do think it's a bit pointless to have a name for a class that no one really knows the meaning of (I know you can look it up, but you don't have to look up any of the others...) and that doesn't really fit - Skalds were not in any way, shape or form, warriors.

Still, I do think with their improved starting book (from what I hear) it'll make them a lot more exciting.
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Post Thursday, 16th May 2013, 13:06

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

Bim wrote:Skalds were not in any way, shape or form, warriors.


Well, they were Vikings, so I can only assume they loved to get stuck into a brawl just as much as the next man ...

Anyway, I think that debate is long over. In fact, next month the Skald celebrates its second birthday: https://crawl.develz.org/tavern/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1909

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Post Thursday, 16th May 2013, 16:26

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

I think Skald is pretty clear name. Only thing that is strange is that Skald doesn't actually sing anything so he doesn't really live up to his name.

Why cares about Skald not being actual fighters they have been upgraded to battle field bards who sing as they hack away enemies, cause many rpgs have portrayed them as such.
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Post Friday, 17th May 2013, 04:22

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

Regarding the book of War Chants, I don't see why Sure Blade isn't in it other than it only working with Short Swords/daggers.
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Post Friday, 17th May 2013, 04:46

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

XuaXua wrote:Regarding the book of War Chants, I don't see why Sure Blade isn't in it other than it only working with Short Swords/daggers.


Since Skalds can start with all weapon types, that sounds like a good enough reason for me.

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Post Friday, 17th May 2013, 13:18

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

Another idea would be to give scalds 1 mana costing +1 slaying buff as first spell. It could be independt of spell book or replace ice brand.

Maybe it should have scaling of +1 slaying per 5levels of charms, and extra +1 at level 27, + maybe make it have relativly short duration making it less useful late game, or make it disappear after you deal 100 total damage with your weapon

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Post Friday, 17th May 2013, 13:28

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

Nah. I'd rather focus on spells that are fun to use. The book has one "boring but useful" spell, shroud of golubria, but that's fine because it has a lot of utility and it's the only spell like that in the book. The rest basically encourage you to use them situationally, or will have some kind of penalty attached (noise, drains your mp, etc), or require you to adapt in some way to it (spectral blade is a summoning-like spell with special behaviour, song of slaying encourages you to quickly get a kill streak, etc). These are all factors in what can make a buff feel interesting and dynamic. Or, to put it another way, the spells should be fun to use (for most players, anyway).

A spell that just gives you +1 slaying, or something like that, completely goes against these principles.

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Post Friday, 17th May 2013, 15:50

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

I believe the point of this discussion revolves around making Skalds playable - I wouldn't discard an idea just because it comes off as being 'boring but useful'. Personally I care little if the spells that come out of this are fun to use or not - I just want to survive the Early Game with as little annoyance as possible. One of the reasons I personally don't like playing Skalds is because of the real penalties associated with playing it - the spells are hard to get castable and quickly lose importance once they are castable, or the usefulness of the spells is delayed until farther into the game.

Having a boring or useful spell or two that will work throughout the Early Game will do well to make the Skald fun to play; because having a higher chance of not dying horribly so I can use the fun stuff = fun.
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Post Friday, 17th May 2013, 16:10

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

I liked the sound of all the spells which were in the patch - they added a lot more differentiation so the Skald wasn't just 'rubbish fighter + weak utility spells and regen'.
If they didn't work out, I think a 'getting through the early game' spell would be fine - even if it was a bit simplistic. Like any lv1 spell, it's hardly going to have an impressive mechanism and it's really just there to do the grunt work as well as make the build not too unbalanced/tedious to start off with.

Take magic dart - it's not a 'fun' spell, in fact it's quite the opposite, but no one is bothered about it because it gets the job done and lets you get on to the real fun in the game which is mid-late.

This being said, I don't think a straight buff to slaying is quite what is needed as it seems a bit weak/would encourage continuous casting for optimal.
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Post Friday, 17th May 2013, 16:33

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

Davion Fuxa wrote:I believe the point of this discussion revolves around making Skalds playable - I wouldn't discard an idea just because it comes off as being 'boring but useful'.

Skalds are perfectly playable, just not very interesting, so yes that is absolutely a good reason to discard an idea (especially when there are already much more interesting spells coded and working anyway).

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Post Friday, 17th May 2013, 18:05

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

MarvinPA wrote:
Davion Fuxa wrote:I believe the point of this discussion revolves around making Skalds playable - I wouldn't discard an idea just because it comes off as being 'boring but useful'.

Skalds are perfectly playable, just not very interesting, so yes that is absolutely a good reason to discard an idea (especially when there are already much more interesting spells coded and working anyway).


The reason that this topic was started was because the current Skald format wasn't liked by players and one thing noted in the very fist post was that 'most people weren't reaching the Lair'. The currently devised spellset looks interesting but it doesn't look that much more helpful in getting to the Lair. It won't be interesting at all if players don't survive long enough to make real use of the new spells to begin with.
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Post Friday, 17th May 2013, 18:13

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

Skalds were already buffed since the thread began, as was mentioned ages ago. It also sounds very much like you haven't tried the new spells and so have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

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Post Friday, 17th May 2013, 18:53

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

Davion Fuxa wrote:Personally I care little if the spells that come out of this are fun to use or not - I just want to survive the Early Game with as little annoyance as possible.


mumra wrote:It seems to be a very powerful class against most threats (until I got abyssed at XL:11).


Davion Fuxa wrote:having a higher chance of not dying horribly so I can use the fun stuff = fun.


mumra wrote:I had a lot of fun testing a DgSk with the patch.


I'm not sure what you're arguing for here - you don't care if they're fun but you want them to be fun?

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Post Friday, 17th May 2013, 19:12

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

The age old crawl problem of everyone taking things to their logical extremes seems to have reared its head. Everyone is pretty much arguing the same thing:
    Skalds are underpowered comparative to other classes. (Regardless that we all agree that it's fine if there are differences in difficulty, its still getting a lot of flak because of this)
    Skalds are currently uninteresting.
    Skalds could do with new (instead of re-purposed) spells to both fit with their theme and add survivability

I don't think anyone is arguing against any of those points, so the only questions are what would interesting spells be, and is the current patch good enough.
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Post Friday, 17th May 2013, 19:28

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

Let's not get into some sort of meta-debate.

Basically it'd be helpful, if people want to contribute usefully to the discussion, to actually try the patch first, or at least make sure they understand in depth what the spells actually do.

As far as I can see the only actual playtesting feedback has come from two people and has been 100% positive (just with a caveat of "this is too powerful right now").
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Post Friday, 17th May 2013, 20:59

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

Could you link to some instructions on how to implement the patch? I'd like to try it out before I make any definitive comments.

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Post Saturday, 18th May 2013, 03:29

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

hi everyone,

i've setup a repository on gitorious for my implementation --- i haven't worked on it a whole lot since the last patch (because of the tournament mostly; probably i'll work on it more afterwards) --- but it should make it simple to try out the new spells. i think all you have to do is follow the instructions on how to compile crawl but 1) clone from git://gitorious.org/~lainiw/crawl/lain-crawl.git instead of the regular crawl repository 2) after you clone the repository, do
  Code:
git checkout newskalds
before compiling.

here are some specifics on the current implementation, and where to find the details in the code:

INFUSION: adds 3 + pow/25 dmg to each successful hit done while you have mp>0 (decreases mp by 1 when it adds damage). grep for DUR_INFUSION, SPELL_INFUSION, infusion_bonus

damage is added in melee_attack.cc, bonus is set in spl-selfench.cc

SONG OF SLAYING: slaying bonus is generated by killing monsters of certain threat levels:
  Code:
 (from mon-stuff.cc)
 if (threat == MTHRT_TRIVIAL && sos_bonus<2
                || threat == MTHRT_EASY && sos_bonus<4
                || threat == MTHRT_TOUGH && sos_bonus<6
                || threat == MTHRT_NASTY)
                {
                        you.props["song_of_slaying_bonus"] = sos_bonus + 1;
                }

i believe these are the same adjectives you get when you examine a monster. sos_bonus<X indicates the highest level you can raise your slaying bonus to by killing monsters of that threat level. the bonus is added to attacks in player.cc (slaying_bonus). grep for DUR_SONG_OF_SLAYING, SPELL_SONG_OF_SLAYING, song_of_slaying_bonus

having sos active means a noisy(10, you.pos()) sound is created on each of your turns (main.cc), and gives you an ability to stop singing (with the a command).

SPECTRAL WEAPON: currently it makes a plain version of your wielded weapon (basically tukima's dance without unwielding) because duplicating a brand is probably too strong... however, it gets an acc bonus dependent on your weapon skill! unwielding your weapon will dismiss an active spectral weapon.

here is the spectral weapon monster details:
  Code:
 (mon-data.h)
{
    MONS_SPECTRAL_WEAPON, '(', GREEN, "spectral weapon",
    M_GLOWS_LIGHT | M_INSUBSTANTIAL,
    MR_RES_COLD | MR_RES_POISON,
    0, 11, MONS_WRAITH, MONS_SPECTRAL_WEAPON, MH_NONLIVING, MAG_IMMUNE,
    { {AT_HIT, AF_PLAIN, 5}, AT_NO_ATK, AT_NO_ATK, AT_NO_ATK },
    { 5, 5, 0, 0},
    5, 10, MST_NO_SPELLS, CE_NOCORPSE, Z_NOZOMBIE, S_SILENT,
    I_PLANT, HT_LAND, FL_LEVITATE, 25, DEFAULT_ENERGY,
    MONUSE_NOTHING, MONEAT_NOTHING, SIZE_MEDIUM
},


and here is the weapon given to the spectral weapon monster:
  Code:
 (spl-summoning.cc)
        int skill_with_weapon = you.skill(weapon_skill(*you.weapon()), 1, false);
        // Increase the acc of the spectral weapon by the player's weapon skill
        int adjustment = -2 + 2*skill_with_weapon/3;
        // create the weapon to give to the spectral weapon
        item_def fake;
        fake.base_type = OBJ_WEAPONS;
        fake.sub_type = original_weapon.sub_type;
        fake.plus = original_weapon.plus + adjustment;
        fake.plus2 = original_weapon.plus2 - 2;
        // no brand, sorry!!
        //fake.special = original_weapon.special;
        fake.special = SPWPN_NORMAL;
        fake.colour = original_weapon.colour;
        fake.quantity = original_weapon.quantity;

        mg.props[TUKIMA_WEAPON] = fake;
        mg.props[TUKIMA_POWER] = pow;

        monster *mons = create_monster(mg);
        mpr("You draw out your weapon's spirit!");

        you.props["spectral_weapon"].get_int() = mons->mid;
        mons->hit_dice = skill_with_weapon/2;
        mons->ac = 3 + skill_with_weapon/3;
        mons->ev = 3 + 2*skill_with_weapon/3;


spectral weapon behavior is mostly in mon-behv.cc; its target and attacks are done in melee_attack.cc. grep for SPELL_SPECTRAL_WEAPON and MONS_SPECTRAL_WEAPON.

SPIRIT SHIELD: the exact same as described in the proposal. damage is considered for spirit shield in ouch.cc. grep for DUR_SPIRIT_SHIELD, SPELL_SPIRIT_SHIELD.

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Post Saturday, 18th May 2013, 05:07

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

Other than spell casting success, it doesn't seem that spell skill (spell power) has any relation to these spells, which IMHO is a wasted opportunity.
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Post Saturday, 18th May 2013, 05:37

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

XuaXua wrote:Other than spell casting success, it doesn't seem that spell skill (spell power) has any relation to these spells, which IMHO is a wasted opportunity.


Apart from infusion doing "3 + pow/25", and the others having their duration affected by spell power, you are completely correct.
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Post Saturday, 18th May 2013, 08:17

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

Of the other spells, the effectiveness of Song of Slaying particularly depends on the duration, as one wants the slaying to build up. So better spell power indirectly has a meaningful effect. Recasting it resets the buff, so it needs to last through a fight. Past that, its duration could potentially carry over to additional fights. Song of Slaying seems to have a deterministic duration of 20 + pow/3, so it's more dependent on the fight than the RNG, probably a blessing.

On the other hand, the effect might plateau in a similar manner to spell failures, in that one needs enough spell skill that the buff lasts through a reasonable fight, but skill past that point matters less. I'm possibly too cautious to try carrying SoS through separate fights unless the next fight arrives on its own. Will definitely have to see what the noise effect does to the spell. Maybe I'll end up attracting the next fight and have to hope my song continues. ;)

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Post Saturday, 18th May 2013, 16:38

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

btw 7 + 2*pow/25 slaying sounds like kind of a good effect for a level 1 spell

i still think infusion shouldn't be level 1.

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Post Thursday, 23rd May 2013, 12:33

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

MarvinPA wrote:Skalds were already buffed since the thread began, as was mentioned ages ago. It also sounds very much like you haven't tried the new spells and so have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.



Ah yes about that , I have downloaded the latest version of the game, but skalds still don't have +1 weapon or potion of berserk rage. How do you download that patch?
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Post Thursday, 23rd May 2013, 12:51

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

siprus wrote:
MarvinPA wrote:Skalds were already buffed since the thread began, as was mentioned ages ago. It also sounds very much like you haven't tried the new spells and so have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.



Ah yes about that , I have downloaded the latest version of the game, but skalds still don't have +1 weapon or potion of berserk rage. How do you download that patch?

It's in trunk, not 0.12.
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Post Friday, 24th May 2013, 12:05

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

lain wrote:SPECTRAL WEAPON: currently it makes a plain version of your wielded weapon (basically tukima's dance without unwielding) because duplicating a brand is probably too strong...

So how about hydras?

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Post Friday, 24th May 2013, 12:26

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

blinkfrog wrote:
lain wrote:SPECTRAL WEAPON: currently it makes a plain version of your wielded weapon (basically tukima's dance without unwielding) because duplicating a brand is probably too strong...

So how about hydras?


Good point, although mirroring the brand on the basis of one monster seems like the wrong solution.

A couple of options spring to mind:

1. Leave as-is. Spells don't have to be effective against everything. And for blunt weapons it's fine anyway.

2. Let the brand spells work on the spectral weaon; i.e. if you cast a brand while the spectral weapon is active, the spectral weapon gets the brand. I only just thought of this and maybe it's still a bad idea, I haven't thought it through much. Could be annoying to keep recasting and/or also OP.
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Post Friday, 24th May 2013, 13:13

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

3. Duplicate the brand. If it's too strong, just scale down the power.
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Post Friday, 24th May 2013, 15:52

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

If you use the spell on a flame branded blade, you should get a flame branded ally and it will be good for killing hydras. The thing is supposed to fight alongside you though, it's not like a summoning spell, where you can just stay back and let it attack. You'd need to attack the hydra up close to get any advantage. so I don't see what the problem is.

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Post Saturday, 25th May 2013, 14:12

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

I don't see the harm in keeping it as plain - it adds some further tactics to lair (and lets face it, we all could do with that!) so you can't just infuse+spectral everything. From what I've played, Skalds now seem much stronger, so having a few weaknesses isn't a bad thing.
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Post Saturday, 25th May 2013, 16:46

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

If it is a problem, then scale the success rate based on the power of the weapon being duplicated, or scale the maximum power of the weapon based on spell power. 80% spell power, spectral weapon is 80% the power of the original.
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Post Tuesday, 28th May 2013, 04:36

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

The commit messages make it look like the branch might be undergoing preparations for a trunk merge, so I'll get in some more comments.

Spoilered for length again:
Spoiler: show
Spectral Weapon should be flagged as useless for felids, similar to Tukima's. (The other spells are actually great for a melee kitten, though I'm not sure whether or not that's sufficient to make it a recommended option)

Ran a good OgSk^Ash that also died to my own stupidity in Orc (attempted to rush for a volcano entrance in a different pocket). Whips work well with infusion, providing the accuracy and speed, while using infusion for damage. Even unbranded, a spectral GSC has crazy output, particularly with the accuracy bonus from high M&F skill. Once I found the old War Chants book in a shop, I cursed the GSC on and put up brand+infuse+shroud for most fights, tossing out a spectral (at the time, unbranded) GSC for only big fights.

I've got a currently going FeSk^Ash that's doing well. Spirit Shield, after mp spent on buffs is nearly +50% health. I've found that with so little health, Infusion and Spirit Shield are fine together. While I have mp, I spend some of it to kill faster. If I take hits that drop my mp to zero, it's time to run and try again later. This is even better with haste+swiftness kiting. I repeatedly attack the hydra and retreat; if it manages to get an attack round (instantly dropping my mp) I run. For things that are faster than me, I've still generally preferred to blow the majority of my mp as bonus health rather than damage. I'm XL13, have partially cleared lair, and am back in the dungeon (Orc 2 has the above Ogre ghost and Erolcha near the stairs). I can kill slime creatures, death yaks, and elephants one at a time, but without something like sublimation, I need to run away and recover mp between each one.

(The above are just the two games that made it well into lair. When I felt my mood was likely to kill characters, I tested this branch rather than kill my good tourney run, so their average life expectancy was rather short.)

As for the Song of Slaying changes, the caps so far have seemed fine with my tests. No more crazy snowball scenarios, but it's probably more in line with a level 2 spell, now. I don't think I've gotten past 6, though I hit 6 occasionally on my good games. When I see a nasty threat, I rarely have the opportunity to kill 6 creatures in order of difficulty beforehand; I'd rather kill the nasty. My kittens and Ogres have worshipped Ash, so generally try to know how much might be attracted by the singing before doing so. I've been amusing myself by calling it the Meow of Maiming for my felids, but that's probably just me being silly. They're capable of normal speech according to the species description anyways. (If anything only the flavor text on starting a song might be variable, but that'd still be inconsistency for silliness' sake)

All my characters seem to use infusion for any fight which they can, but that's generally because I have no other use for my mp in combat. In my opinion having a use for mp is a good thing. Given that it continuously requires and costs mp to attack (and quite a bit for an axe wielder), I think it seems fine as a level 1 spell to cast. I like that skalds finally have something they can cast at XL1 (even though some races will only get one boosted attack out of it). It just may need more tweaking on the actual damage bonus.

Now that I actually got around to playing a revamped conjurer in the tournament, is there a reason spectral weapon's damage is attributed as a summon? Unlike regular summons and like battlesphere, it only attacks when and what you attack. It's even more restrictive in that it won't fire at other enemies in the same line and requires you to be in melee. The only difference is that it doesn't cost mp to trigger a follow up attack. It's possibly fine stealing xp as it is currently with how well it adds to damage; I'm just curious at the reasoning.


Okay, I think I'm done. I write a lot, don't I? :shock:

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Post Tuesday, 28th May 2013, 07:55

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

qoala wrote:is there a reason spectral weapon's damage is attributed as a summon?

I think it's an oversight in the implementation. IIRC, in evilmike's design, it was supposed to behave much like a melee battlesphere and attribute kills the same way.
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Post Wednesday, 29th May 2013, 02:06

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

More Spectral Weapon stuff:
  Code:
 You hit your spectral weapon.
 The spectral weapon is lightly damaged.
 The spectral weapon closely misses itself.
 The spectral weapon barely misses you.

What is the intended behaviour of attacking the spectral weapon? The battlesphere doesn't turn hostile if attacked and will not follow up on spells targeted at itself. Presumably the spectral weapon should do the same. Currently, one can get the hilarious message chain above. Note that the suddenly hostile spectral weapon still obeys its last command to attack itself. Also one can easily get out of this predicament by recasting Spectral Weapon to desummon the old one. Curiously, targetting the spectral weapon with spells doesn't seem to make it hostile.

I suspect that preventing hostility requires checking for MONS_SPECTRAL_WEAPON alongside MONS_BATTLESPHERE in a few places through mon-behv.cc, however if so, I don't understand why only physical attacks trigger hostility currently. Perhaps there should be a mons::is_familiar() or some such method that can simplify skipping some checks for them. Even after this is corrected, the spectral-weapon-specific behaviour code should check that it never attacks itself.

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Post Wednesday, 29th May 2013, 10:59

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

qoala wrote:Even after this is corrected, the spectral-weapon-specific behaviour code should check that it never attacks itself.

What if you (or the weapon) are confused? Should enslave work on spectral weapons?
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Post Wednesday, 29th May 2013, 12:26

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

jejorda2 wrote:What if you (or the weapon) are confused? Should enslave work on spectral weapons?


Well spectral weapons and battlespheres are both immune to magic, so if I remember correctly, neither condition is a concern for the weapon. If you attack battlespheres, whether intentionally or in confusion, the battlesphere just accepts the hit meekly. It looks like lain is on top of these reports, because spectral weapons now seem to function the same. :)

I suspect there's still some difference in the targetting behaviour between the two, but it's possible they remain consistent enough within their own behaviour for this not to matter. It seems the battlesphere avoids targetting friendlies even if you explicitly attacked them (though very few things beyond a spectral weapon remain friendly after taking damage), while the spectral weapon is happy to hit whatever you hit, regardless of its friendly status after your attack. I'm not sure this discrepancy is visible in any circumstance other than that I can get my weapon to attack my battlesphere, but not vice versa. If anything, I think the battlesphere is the one behaving inconsistently (it probably assumes that anything you directly targetted will turn hostile before it sets up its tracers), as I expect my familiars to join in my (non-suicidal) attacks. If this is the only possible way to show the discrepancy, I'm not sure if either behaviour needs such a narrow special case.
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Post Wednesday, 29th May 2013, 12:56

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

qoala wrote:
  Code:
 The spectral weapon closely misses itself.


I know this is a bug, but at the same time, it's kind of a crawl koan.

my spectral weapon
is confused, or just angry
stop hitting yourself
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Post Sunday, 9th June 2013, 02:46

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

So I know we've got three species and a branch to play around with, but is there any more work being done on this front, or any intention to merge it into Trunk?

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Post Monday, 10th June 2013, 14:13

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

Speleothing wrote:So I know we've got three species and a branch to play around with, but is there any more work being done on this front, or any intention to merge it into Trunk?


  Code:
 Commits in ~lainiw/crawl/lain-crawl:newskalds

    Monday June 10 2013

        15:19
        lain committed 07492eb

        let spectral weapon HD go up to 27, base its HP on spellpower

        13:44
        lain committed 6b38195

        allow spectral weapon duration to be longer and correct its duration roll

        13:32
        lain committed 43b1466

        increase noise made by song of slaying from 10 to 15

        13:20
        lain committed ab488f6

        reduce and randomize spectral weapon duration, reduce spectral weapon ac/ev/hp and base ac/ev on spell power
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Post Monday, 10th June 2013, 14:28

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

Nice to see he's still working on it but is he taking feedback from ##crawl-dev? (hard to grep for his nick, a lot of sequell query involve people getting slained). I see he has given back spectral weapon its brand, good :)
This looks promising, hopefully a trunk merge soon!
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Post Monday, 10th June 2013, 15:37

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

galehar wrote:Nice to see he's still working on it but is he taking feedback from ##crawl-dev? (hard to grep for his nick, a lot of sequell query involve people getting slained). I see he has given back spectral weapon its brand, good :)
This looks promising, hopefully a trunk merge soon!


He is lainiw on IRC which should get more accurate hits, some things have definitely been discussed on ##crawl-dev but he's more often in ##crawl.

I did offer to merge the branch, we're just waiting for him to let us know when he feel it's ready. Should get much more feedback once it's in trunk.

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Post Monday, 24th June 2013, 14:04

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

I was testing out lain's branch and ended up updating it to latest trunk and doing some fairly extensive code checking and cleanup. I've pushed this version to a "newskald" branch in the main crawl repo. This version seems pretty solid and I consider it ready for trunk merge -- certainly I fixed any remaining issues around save compatibility etc. and I can't see any major bugs; and I think trunk is probably the best place for this to see thorough testing and balancing at this stage.

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Post Monday, 24th June 2013, 21:24

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

@mumra
I have two merge requests pending on lain's branch. While the first was already merged (without being closed), the second includes some additional bug fixes I found as I was testing it. If you didn't, the second should probably be merged into the branch.

Edit: Ah, looking at your merge message, the debug statement I'd accidentally left in was already found and changed to dprf. (I don't generally test with full debugging statements, so generally temporarily used mprf for debugging. I forgot to remove those two lines before I committed the spectral weapon AI changes.) Some of the other changes might still be applicable.

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Post Monday, 24th June 2013, 22:01

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

qoala wrote:@mumra
I have two merge requests pending on lain's branch. While the first was already merged (without being closed), the second includes some additional bug fixes I found as I was testing it. If you didn't, the second should probably be merged into the branch.

Edit: Ah, looking at your merge message, the debug statement I'd accidentally left in was already found and changed to dprf. (I don't generally test with full debugging statements, so generally temporarily used mprf for debugging. I forgot to remove those two lines before I committed the spectral weapon AI changes.) Some of the other changes might still be applicable.


Thanks, I've picked those commits (I did actually apply the third just to remove the dprf statements).

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Post Tuesday, 25th June 2013, 00:10

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

After some discussion on IRC, the skalds branch has been merged to trunk and will be available in the next builds. Obviously if lain / qoala have any more changes to push I'll try and get things into trunk quickly. Thanks everyone for your contributions and feedback so far! Please post any trunk testing feedback here.
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Post Tuesday, 25th June 2013, 01:07

Re: Discussion: Improving Skalds

Got a full summary of the changes?
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