Option to autocast buff spells.


Although the central place for design discussion is ##crawl-dev on freenode, some may find it helpful to discuss requests and suggestions here first.

Snake Sneak

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Post Sunday, 27th February 2011, 13:17

Option to autocast buff spells.

I am playing DEEE have tons of MP, low level spell cost no food and it's really boring to recast stoneskin constantly.
Option to automatically recast such spells when no enemies are around would be very cool
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Slime Squisher

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Post Sunday, 27th February 2011, 13:48

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

I would love to see buffs/transformations move to this.
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Post Sunday, 27th February 2011, 14:04

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

There's a wiki page with some discussion on this idea, too.
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Tartarus Sorceror

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Post Sunday, 27th February 2011, 14:32

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

This is interesting.
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Vestibule Violator

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Post Sunday, 27th February 2011, 22:31

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

I also like. Removes tedium without really affecting player power. You'd have to factor in the hunger cost if there was one somehow.

Snake Sneak

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Post Sunday, 27th February 2011, 23:28

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

This concept has passed my mind before--I'd probably play casters more if it gets implemented.

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Post Sunday, 27th February 2011, 23:56

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

minmay wrote:Core Xii came up with an interesting idea for this a while ago: buff spells last as long as you want them to, but reduce your maximum MP by their cost while active.


For most buff spells, this is strictly inferior to manually recasting them whenever they are about to expire. Not very many spellcasters regenerate fewer than 2mp before Repel Missiles or Levitation need to be renewed, for instance.

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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Monday, 28th February 2011, 01:10

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

Oh, you meant that the player would not have the option of casting them and letting them time out, as normal? That wasn't clear from the link, so I didn't know about that wrinkle in the idea.

Okay, in that case, how do you train the relevant spell skills? If activating a charm is an irrevocable trade of mp-for-buff, how do you train the skill?

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Snake Sneak

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Post Monday, 28th February 2011, 01:18

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

The problem with the mechanic is that it increases the survivability of the characters of most players quite drastically, swiftness allows you to run away from battles, repel missiles protects you from the dreaded archers, flight makes shoals and swamp much safer. Personally I only cast buffs when needed, archers, escape, protect against poison or lightning , etc. Optimal play would be to refresh some of these constantly, but I don't do so and have to waste a turn during battles which I could use to cast a damaging spell. If a person has the patience to refresh the spells constantly he deserves the extra survivability the spells gives, but I suspect that most players play in a similar manner to me, press auto explore until you find an encounter, cast buffs if needed and then attack the enemy however way you want. I've never found casting the early level buffs to be tedious as I only need them it in dangerous interesting situations. Pretty much the suggestion is to give players boots of running/ boots of levitation and controlled flight at the cost of a few mp which you can get through use of one ring of magical power.

Late game permanent spells is a different issue all (in Pan especially) as constantly refreshing 4 spells just to survive can be annoying after awhile, to solve this a high level charms spell can be added to make spells permanent. (I opened a thread about it)

Vaults Vanquisher

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Post Monday, 28th February 2011, 01:31

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

tazoz wrote:If a person has the patience to refresh the spells constantly he deserves the extra survivability the spells gives

making tedious play optimal is bad design
that is, nobody deserves extra survivability for recasting constantly

Halls Hopper

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Post Monday, 28th February 2011, 01:31

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

Wait, you know you can macro, right? o.O

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Post Monday, 28th February 2011, 02:04

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

KoboldLord wrote:Oh, you meant that the player would not have the option of casting them and letting them time out, as normal? That wasn't clear from the link, so I didn't know about that wrinkle in the idea.

Okay, in that case, how do you train the relevant spell skills? If activating a charm is an irrevocable trade of mp-for-buff, how do you train the skill?


It'd probably train in the same way as the other "train over time" skills work, armor and stealth.

It's true that this is somewhat of a nerf if players aren't allowed to cast the spells in the conventional way. It's a common tactic to cast all of your buffs in a safe spot and recover the MP with a crystal ball or sublimation.

It's a buff in the sense that you don't have to spend additional turns recasting spells, which can be significant in the case of low duration buffs like phase shift.

It'd be interesting to compare buff durations with the MP it takes to cast them, and see how much MP tends to regenerate for most builds. The obvious choice for MP bar reduction would be to make it equal to the current spell level, but this might be overly generous for some spells with duration short enough that they currently can't be sustained.
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Tartarus Sorceror

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Post Monday, 28th February 2011, 02:37

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

How about making the buff spells suck the player's MP continuously as long as they're active? So, just for an example:
1. Let's say that Repel Missile sucks 2 MP, and is active for 10 turns,
2. The player activates it, and so reduces his MP by 2,
3. 10 turns later, if the player doesn't deactivate the Repel Missile, his MP gets reduced again by 2,
4. Repeat until the players deactivates the spell.

Then there should be an option to "deactivate Repel Missile", as an ability, just like "stop levitating".

:)

EDIT: I just realized that this might be too strong. Maybe every buff spell in the game should causes glowing to make up for it?
Last edited by pratamawirya on Monday, 28th February 2011, 02:42, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Monday, 28th February 2011, 02:40

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

that would be very annoying, having to manually deactivate every buff after fighting, to avoid mp drain
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Post Monday, 28th February 2011, 02:54

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

@MrMisterMonkey:
I think that is easily solvable by adding a "deactivate all charm spells" option.

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Post Monday, 28th February 2011, 03:37

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

would still be annoying to manage buffs

it's kind of like the status quo annoyance-wise, except instead of being cool with (tediously) recasting all the time to stay buffed, you essentially force everyone to take buffs down all the time (or channel back up lost mp all the time)

Mines Malingerer

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Post Monday, 28th February 2011, 04:42

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

There actually would be some downsides to the suggested decrease in mana pool method. Say you are a pure caster buffing up before taking on something really hard, like a pan/hell lord. You'll probably be channeling/crystal balling your mana back up to max before the fight. Somebody like cerebov does take more than a couple spells to kill, after all. Currently, you can start the fight buffed up and at your maximum 50 mana. Under the proposed buff scheme, you would be starting the fight at 50 - (mana for shedload of buffs), putting you at a distinct disadvantage.

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Post Monday, 28th February 2011, 04:53

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

I like the reserved mana mechanic in the games I see it. Don't really play casters in Crawl, so my oppinion might be utterly dispensable. Nonetheless, reserved mana is a common feature of some adventure games (Titan Quest comes to mind) because it seems 'natural' that lasting powers have lasting costs.

If training of magical schools through repeated casting is a problem, as it has been suggested, then some sort of prolonged training might apply. Again: I know next to nothing about the caster experience in Crawl, but expose the idea anyway:

Character may cast the spell if current_mana > mana_cost).
If successfull, apply effects as normal and 'reserve mana' (i.e, character does not lose current mana, instead loses maximum mana). If unsucessfull, character loses current mana and other effects of failure apply (glowing, mutations, whatnot). While buff is active, at every turn, a test against an appropriate skill (school of magic, for example) is made. If sucessfull, the buff remains and there is a small chance that the beforementioned skill is trained. If unsucessfull, the buff dissipates.

Example scenario: character with 20/20 mana casts buff_spell with a mana cost of 2. If he succeeds, he now has 18/18 mana. Every turn a Skill X check is made and the buff is either mantained (with a possible Skill X training) or dissipated. When the spell does dissipate, the character is left with 18/20 mana. If he tries to cast the very same spell again and succeds, he is again at 18/18 (with no mana cost for current mana), but does face the necessity of casting it again (perhaps midst battle) and the risk of failing (which does, in fact, 'cost' mana, in the usual way).

I understand this is a nerf over repeated casting, but felt like I should express the opinion anyway.
P.S.: on these long posts I am never really sure I made myself clear thanks to my grayed-out, level 1, English skill

Mines Malingerer

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Post Monday, 28th February 2011, 05:47

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

FilthyApe wrote:There actually would be some downsides to the suggested decrease in mana pool method. Say you are a pure caster buffing up before taking on something really hard, like a pan/hell lord. You'll probably be channeling/crystal balling your mana back up to max before the fight. Somebody like cerebov does take more than a couple spells to kill, after all. Currently, you can start the fight buffed up and at your maximum 50 mana. Under the proposed buff scheme, you would be starting the fight at 50 - (mana for shedload of buffs), putting you at a distinct disadvantage.


Then again, the choice of buffs or maximum MP for a given battle would be an interesting choice to make, compared to the current "no-brainer" to use all buffs before all hard battles (hunger costs permitting). Casters sort of need a nerf like this anyways - magic-less characters hardly get any buffs at all.

I'm not sure how rods would work under this current system - it'd be ridiculously overpowered to use this same mechanic, and even with the old mechanics, they'd be very valuable as a source of buff without losing max mp.

Bim

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Post Sunday, 6th March 2011, 17:28

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

I REALLY like the idea of keeping buffs on with a reduction in mana whilst they're on. I can imagine that it wouldn't be hard to have two options (click for on till duration end, cntrl-click for always on).

I'd also love to see this for transmutations (although the manna cost could be brought up considerably to keep it fair). I often play SE Tranys and find it really annoying having to recast spider form or ice form/blade hands. It hardly happens that I don't have enough mp to cast it, and I don't lose much by that extra turn, it just seems an annoyance by mid game (After the hunger cost goes).

Titan Quest is an awesome example of this, and I don't think the balance issues would be too great. This is especially important now extension has gone!
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Snake Sneak

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Post Sunday, 6th March 2011, 18:05

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

When did Extension get removed? I am playing version 0.8.0-a0-5488-g5ccae7e and I swear I just found an Enchantment book with Extension in it. Level 5 Charms, I think...

And if it was removed, I am curious as to why it was done. Anyone know?
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Dungeon Master

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Post Sunday, 6th March 2011, 23:40

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

The plan is to cast permanent buff with Z (or shift-click) and, normal casting with z. It won't be so useful for animal forms because there is also a plan to limit them more (no wand and no evaporate). Still good for statue form and necromutation. See the wiki for details.
Extension has been removed recently because it's uninteresting and abusable.
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Post Monday, 7th March 2011, 16:11

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

galehar wrote:The plan is to cast permanent buff with Z (or shift-click) and, normal casting with z. It won't be so useful for animal forms because there is also a plan to limit them more (no wand and no evaporate). Still good for statue form and necromutation. See the wiki for details.
Extension has been removed recently because it's uninteresting and abusable.


Posted elsewhere about this... surely Extension was there to mitigate exactly the annoyance this thread discusses? Recasting 1 or 2 buffs is fine, but once you have 5 or so in general use it gets really tricky and frankly boring to manage. Especially as some of the buffs (examples: phase shift, Ozocubu's armour) are not so obvious in the display and sometimes I don't notice straight away when they've expired.

As for macros... a macro to cast all my buffs isn't appropriate when just one is running out, it'd drain half my MP. Also I'd need to reprogram the macro throughout the game as I adjust my set of spells.

Someone was saying they only cast buffs when they run into trouble, but this play can lead you to death very quickly with a DEWz.

Vaults Vanquisher

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Post Monday, 7th March 2011, 18:23

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

on mitigating annoyance, spells designed purely to get around bad interface are kind of bad.

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Post Monday, 7th March 2011, 18:41

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

MrMisterMonkey wrote:on mitigating annoyance, spells designed purely to get around bad interface are kind of bad.


Very true - but the interface could be fixed *before* removing the mitigating feature :)

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Post Tuesday, 8th March 2011, 01:06

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

Also importantly, you could permanently re-cast Extension with a laundry list of buffs up, Selective Amnesia all the buffs, and get permanent and free flight, swiftness, rElec, rPois, deflect missiles, stoneskin, and so on without spending either spell slots or equipment slots on these effects. You just had to spam Extension a lot, but that was radically cheaper mp-wise than keeping the buffs themselves up.

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Post Tuesday, 8th March 2011, 01:27

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

actually that much was already fixed, if I recall correctly
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Post Tuesday, 8th March 2011, 01:42

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

It was, a while ago.

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Post Tuesday, 8th March 2011, 05:08

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

Keeping buffs up for all players seems to have downsides. A god of buffs who greatly extends the duration of buffs effects (and perhaps negative status effects) might work.

Perhaps Ash could grant one long duration buff per cursed slot, with the duration rising with piety. I'd bet that players attracted to Ash's breaking of the ID minigame would also enjoy having to recast buff less often. The flavor could be: "The curses carried by Ashenzari worshipers bind to the body spells and effects that would otherwise be fleeting." This could make Ash more attractive to fighters, as long-duration potions of might would be really powerful! (On the other hand, being slowed for a long time would be a bummer.) I think that folks are looking around for something instead of the extra XP effect anyway.

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Post Tuesday, 8th March 2011, 05:15

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

But... but... power gamers. ;_; Morally superior Casual Gamers forever, down with scummy power gamers!!

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Post Wednesday, 9th March 2011, 17:32

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

KoboldLord wrote:Also importantly, you could permanently re-cast Extension with a laundry list of buffs up, Selective Amnesia all the buffs, and get permanent and free flight, swiftness, rElec, rPois, deflect missiles, stoneskin, and so on without spending either spell slots or equipment slots on these effects. You just had to spam Extension a lot, but that was radically cheaper mp-wise than keeping the buffs themselves up.


I'd class that as "clever playing" rather than "abuse". Still pretty complex to manage and make sure none ever run out, and to grab spellbooks when one does go by accident. Also, it makes it far more difficult to use Haste.

smock wrote:Keeping buffs up for all players seems to have downsides. A god of buffs who greatly extends the duration of buffs effects (and perhaps negative status effects) might work.


I'd like to see this just as an additional perk of Sif Muna. Would make Sif a slightly more viable option vs. Vehumet.
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Blades Runner

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Post Wednesday, 9th March 2011, 17:44

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

"I'd like to see this just as an additional perk of Sif Muna. Would make Sif a slightly more viable option vs. Vehumet."
I agree. Amnesia ability is still not very viable. Scrolls are abundant and you want to use them instead of piety-draining ability

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Post Wednesday, 9th March 2011, 21:11

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

Curio wrote:"I'd like to see this just as an additional perk of Sif Muna. Would make Sif a slightly more viable option vs. Vehumet."
I agree. Amnesia ability is still not very viable. Scrolls are abundant and you want to use them instead of piety-draining ability


I was making this point in another thread. I used to just go for Sif by default as it seemed the obvious choice; but the further I'm getting in the game the more Vehumet's buffs just seem like obvious advantages, whereas Sif is of very little use at all. Some unique ability that was unobtainable otherwise would make it a far more interesting choice. I think some form of Extension might be very interesting. Perhaps it could be done passively; so your spells just last longer (and by a degree dependent on the relevant spellcasting skills, which would solve another problem by adding value to training spells beyond the point where it's currently useful). Or, an ability you can activate which makes all spells cast for its duration last longer. Or it could basically be exactly the same as Extension, but cost piety, so it wouldn't be practical to abuse it continously.

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Post Thursday, 10th March 2011, 00:37

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

minmay wrote:Sif Muna is already an extremely powerful god. Channeling is a reliable source of MP restoration, miscast protection lets you get away with casting high-level spells at poor success rates, and you have a much better chance of getting rare spells like Ozocubu's Refrigeration and Airstrike that no other god will give you. And the former two are already unique abilities unobtainable otherwise; Kikubaaqudgha only provides miscast protection for necromancy, and other sources of channeling are far inferior to Sif Muna's invocation.


I agree with this statement, and I'd also like to point out that Sif Muna improves the odds of getting early access to staple spells such as Blink and Repel Missiles for backgrounds that don't start with them. Getting early access to otherwise non-guaranteed spells is extremely powerful and, depending on your background's starting book, can be a far greater influence on the success of your game than all the late-game perks you could possibly put together.

None of the three caster deities are in any need of a buff.

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Post Thursday, 10th March 2011, 03:15

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

KoboldLord wrote:
minmay wrote:Sif Muna is already an extremely powerful god. Channeling is a reliable source of MP restoration, miscast protection lets you get away with casting high-level spells at poor success rates, and you have a much better chance of getting rare spells like Ozocubu's Refrigeration and Airstrike that no other god will give you. And the former two are already unique abilities unobtainable otherwise; Kikubaaqudgha only provides miscast protection for necromancy, and other sources of channeling are far inferior to Sif Muna's invocation.


I agree with this statement, and I'd also like to point out that Sif Muna improves the odds of getting early access to staple spells such as Blink and Repel Missiles for backgrounds that don't start with them. Getting early access to otherwise non-guaranteed spells is extremely powerful and, depending on your background's starting book, can be a far greater influence on the success of your game than all the late-game perks you could possibly put together.

None of the three caster deities are in any need of a buff.


So you're saying that Sif is basically there for non-Wizard backgrounds who want early access to "Book of Minor Magic". A book which in pretty much every game where I've got as far as D:10, I've found all those spells amongst other books either in shops or just lying on the floor. And pretty much always *before* I get to 6* piety with Sif. If Sif is only there for acquiring low-level spells, I dunno... Just seems there are some bigger issues here!

Channelling is ok. But it's only a 1* piety ability so it can't be that good? What kind of God plays their hand right from the get-go?

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Post Thursday, 10th March 2011, 03:18

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

On miscast protection; usually by the time I'm at 6* piety it's not much of a worry. And a miscast is dangerous whether effects happen or not because you lose a turn. In a sticky situation I'm not going to risk it. Vehumet gives a bonus to your casting abilities for offensive spells, actually reducing the chance of a miscast; still seems like a clear winner.

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Post Thursday, 10th March 2011, 04:04

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

mumra wrote:So you're saying that Sif is basically there for non-Wizard backgrounds who want early access to "Book of Minor Magic".


Blink and Repel Missiles were two examples, not the whole list. I'm not going to list all the good low-level spells; it should be obvious enough to state that if you increase the number of early spellbooks you end up with more early spells that are useful.

mumra wrote:A book which in pretty much every game where I've got as far as D:10, I've found all those spells amongst other books either in shops or just lying on the floor.


If this is remotely close to being accurate, you are startlingly lucky. More likely you're over-generalizing from a small sample set.

mumra wrote:And pretty much always *before* I get to 6* piety with Sif.


I would expect you to typically get close to maximum piety with Sif Muna before entering Lair, if you're playing a dedicated caster. Sometimes I see zero spellbooks generated before Lair, although it is more typical to generate some that are merely too high-level to be useful.

mumra wrote:Channelling is ok. But it's only a 1* piety ability so it can't be that good? What kind of God plays their hand right from the get-go?


You also need to invest in invocations skill to get full effect out of that ability. A low-piety ability can often still be valuable; the early access means you won't lose it if you fall short on piety.

mumra wrote:On miscast protection; usually by the time I'm at 6* piety it's not much of a worry. And a miscast is dangerous whether effects happen or not because you lose a turn. In a sticky situation I'm not going to risk it. Vehumet gives a bonus to your casting abilities for offensive spells, actually reducing the chance of a miscast; still seems like a clear winner.


Miscast effects include banishment to the Abyss or smacking you with multiple bad mutations. The worst effects are rare, but they are truly horrible when they come up.

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Post Thursday, 10th March 2011, 11:16

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

KoboldLord wrote:
mumra wrote:So you're saying that Sif is basically there for non-Wizard backgrounds who want early access to "Book of Minor Magic".


Blink and Repel Missiles were two examples, not the whole list. I'm not going to list all the good low-level spells; it should be obvious enough to state that if you increase the number of early spellbooks you end up with more early spells that are useful.

mumra wrote:A book which in pretty much every game where I've got as far as D:10, I've found all those spells amongst other books either in shops or just lying on the floor.


If this is remotely close to being accurate, you are startlingly lucky. More likely you're over-generalizing from a small sample set.


It really is accurate - but yes, I've had relatively few games where I've got far enough to start receiving spellbooks from Sif. But even when I made an effort to train Charms to the highest possible level, Sif was gifting me books in other schools. I found spells like Apportation, Control Teleport, Haste, Deflect Missiles lying around while Sif gave me Ice books (when of the elemental schools, all my training was in fire and I had no skill in Ice).

The Wizard background starts with a pretty useful set of low-level spells, enough to deal with a massive range of encounters, especially once some form of Control Teleport is acquired. What I'm usually desperately short of is even a mid-level conjuration to blast stuff with. Vehumet seems to offer this way more reliably.

And seriously, low-level books are easy to find. They *should* be, just like low-level weapons and armour. If this has just been luck, well, it still seems like the "most magical" God.

KoboldLord wrote:
mumra wrote:And pretty much always *before* I get to 6* piety with Sif.


I would expect you to typically get close to maximum piety with Sif Muna before entering Lair, if you're playing a dedicated caster. Sometimes I see zero spellbooks generated before Lair, although it is more typical to generate some that are merely too high-level to be useful.


The problem I've had in some games is that a Sif altar doesn't show up until really deep, and the best I can manage is 3* before I'm forced to go into the Lair due to the dungeon getting too difficult. When I've found the altar early enough I can usually start getting gifts around the early Lair levels, yes. But I typically find

KoboldLord wrote:
mumra wrote:Channelling is ok. But it's only a 1* piety ability so it can't be that good? What kind of God plays their hand right from the get-go?


You also need to invest in invocations skill to get full effect out of that ability. A low-piety ability can often still be valuable; the early access means you won't lose it if you fall short on piety.


That's a ton of XP I have to train into Invocations instead of my spell skills (and of course this means I'm not earning piety with Sif). I can see that I'd perhaps have XP to spare for this later on, but only because there's currently little benefit in training spell skills to max (and I believe this is due to change). There are no other uses for Invocation skill with Sif.

On the other hand I could train Evocations which *is* useful for other stuff; and use a crystal ball or staff of channelling. Or just carry some chunks and use sublimation, training Necromancy to boot. Or even just carry some a potion of magic to escape a really crucial situation.

Mostly I'm playing to avoid situations where I need MP in such an emergency.

KoboldLord wrote:
mumra wrote:On miscast protection; usually by the time I'm at 6* piety it's not much of a worry. And a miscast is dangerous whether effects happen or not because you lose a turn. In a sticky situation I'm not going to risk it. Vehumet gives a bonus to your casting abilities for offensive spells, actually reducing the chance of a miscast; still seems like a clear winner.


Miscast effects include banishment to the Abyss or smacking you with multiple bad mutations. The worst effects are rare, but they are truly horrible when they come up.


I can still avoid those by training my skills high enough. Can such bad effects ever happen when a spell is at Excellent? By the time I'm playing with powerful enough spells to get such effects, I'm hopefully ready for the abyss and will possibly have a potion of cure mutation stashed.

It still just seems that Sif doesn't offer anything that can't be achieved in some other way, mostly through careful play and a bit of luck (without which I'm dead whoever I worship). Whereas Vehumet's +1 range alone is downright awesome and there's no way that can be bought or sold :) I'm really trying to see the advantages Sif has, and you've definitely raised my awareness somewhat, but I'm still not overawed. Maybe it's just because I haven't got far enough for chanelling to really count.
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Post Thursday, 10th March 2011, 14:19

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

This getting completely off topic. If you want to discuss sif, please open another thread.
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Post Saturday, 2nd April 2011, 23:23

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

After taking a breather....

Why not just have a buff active once it's memorized? To deactivate it you have to forget the spell. Max MP is reduced (perhaps by 2/3 or 1/2) of the spell's level.

If implemented, the levels of some spells would probably have to change. Also, spell hunger wouldn't be a cost and the spells couldn't be used for training or dancing. The levitation spell would have to go or be changed. I don't see any of this as a problem.

It's true that you don't always want buffs on. But I don't see why that's a problem. If you don't want a buff on, don't memorize it.

It would have other effects on the game. This would make Sif's forget spell power much more attractive. It would also give us a reason to use all the extra scrolls of amnesia laying around. I would be really nice to never have to cast buffs. Overpowered buffs would no longer so overpowered, as they have a large cost to max MP.

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Post Sunday, 3rd April 2011, 00:01

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

minmay wrote:
smock wrote:The levitation spell would have to go or be changed.

So would Fire Brand, Freezing Aura, Lethal Infusion, Maxwell's Silver Hammer, Tukima's Vorpal Blade, Ozocubu's Armour, Poison Weapon, Condensation Shield, Excruciating Wounds, Silence, Haste, Invisibility, Warp Weapon, and Death's Door.

Explanation: Weapon branding spells are used mostly because they can be situationally swapped. Ozocubu's Armour and Condensation Shield disappear when hit by fire attacks or casting fire magic. Haste and Invisibility give magic contamination.

You could make a bunch of exceptions for these spells, but it would leave people with only a few permanent buffs, which isn't much of an improvement.


It would not work well for weapon buffs. I didn't think Maxwell's was considered a buff!

But, I do think it would work fine for Condensation Shield, Deflect Missiles, Flight, Insulation, Ozocubu's Armour, Regeneration, Repel Missiles, Resist Poison, Ring of Flames, See Invisible, Stoneskin, Sure Blade and Swiftness. Ozocubu's Armour and Condensation Shield could re-form soon after melting, like the demonspawn mutation. Silence wouldn't work. Haste and Invisibility might work if they gave continuous gray glow, but I'm not optimistic. I don't know if Death's Door should be included in that list, but I haven't used it in a long time.

I probably forgot a few. That's 13 out of the 90+ player spells. Not bad. If this would work better than other systems for 13 spells, then why not use it for those 13? The weapon buffs don't need much balancing anyway.
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Post Sunday, 3rd April 2011, 01:08

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

minmay wrote: ... it would leave people with only a few permanent buffs, which isn't much of an improvement.


Yes it is! A few permanent buffs as opposed to tons and tons of temporary ones means less no brainer buffing activity, less tedium... increasing the percentage of keystrokes which result in something interesting happening can only be an improvement!

Hurting buffs hurts a few starting classes, which sucks, and also makes life harder for just about any spellcaster who lives past Lair or so-- GOOD! The middle portion of a game should be more dangerous than dungeon level 1, and anything which helps redress the current imbalance in that regard should be given champagne and a warm towel while it waits to be merged into origin/master.

smock wrote: I don't know if Death's Door should be included in that list, but I haven't used it in a long time.


It makes you invulnerable, so there are indeed balance issues with rendering it permanent.

I consider it one of only four interesting buffs in the game-- you're guaranteed to survive the next 11-30 turns or whatever it is, and that had better be enough because nothing can extend its duration and hey-oh, you have single digit hit points. (For the record, the other interesting buffs are Silence, Berserk, and Ring of Flames.)
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Post Sunday, 3rd April 2011, 10:13

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

smock wrote:After taking a breather....

Why not just have a buff active once it's memorized? To deactivate it you have to forget the spell. Max MP is reduced (perhaps by 2/3 or 1/2) of the spell's level.

If implemented, the levels of some spells would probably have to change. Also, spell hunger wouldn't be a cost and the spells couldn't be used for training or dancing. The levitation spell would have to go or be changed. I don't see any of this as a problem.

It's true that you don't always want buffs on. But I don't see why that's a problem. If you don't want a buff on, don't memorize it.

It would have other effects on the game. This would make Sif's forget spell power much more attractive. It would also give us a reason to use all the extra scrolls of amnesia laying around. I would be really nice to never have to cast buffs. Overpowered buffs would no longer so overpowered, as they have a large cost to max MP.

Great idea. Let me put my wiz and +int items, quaff brilliance and learn deflect missiles and necromutation. Now, I can put my CPM, cast blade hands and go to Zot. For a proposal that take into account hunger and spell success, check this page that marvinPA already linked to above.
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Blades Runner

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Post Sunday, 3rd April 2011, 15:21

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

galehar wrote:Great idea. Let me put my wiz and +int items, quaff brilliance and learn deflect missiles and necromutation. Now, I can put my CPM, cast blade hands and go to Zot. For a proposal that take into account hunger and spell success, check this page that marvinPA already linked to above.

I should have noted that I did peruse that link. I meant my post to be a comment on it. So the "Spell power and enhancer" section, and indeed all others, would apply to my this permanent-only buffs. I really like almost all of the ideas on the wiki. I'm proposing just a single change: that some buffs only have a permanent version.

Having both temporary and permanent versions, without other changes, makes buffs stronger. Converting some buffs to only permanent, without a temporary version, would nerf them slightly. Nerfing buffs is good.

With temporary and permanent versions, the question is "should I cast this permanently, temporarily, or not at all?", to which the answer for most builds involves using a buff. With only a permanent version, the question is "should I memorize this permabuff", to which the answer would be no for more builds. An example: right now the wizard will usually want to memorize deflect missiles. With temporary and permanent versions it may be better to use the temporary one, since it'll still be on long after MP is recovered. With no temporary version, the wizard may decide that it's to costly to even memorize -- losing all that MP means fewer mystic blasts or whatnot.

I'm not sure the hunger thing really jives well with permanent-only buffs that can't easily be turned off, if only because food management isn't the most fun part of the game. But I don't have strong opinions on this.

The spell success stuff certainly does jive well with permanent-only buffs. If deflect missiles were at spell success "bad" it should fail a lot. That should happen in any case, whether permanent-only or not. (At present, why doesn't deflect missiles work better with more air magic skills?) In general, I'm very confident that permabuffs could be made balanced for wiz and +int items.

Spell memorization would say "This spell uses 6 spell slots and reduces for magic points by 6. Memorize it?" [Y/N]
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Post Sunday, 3rd April 2011, 16:41

Re: Option to autocast buff spells.

I'd rather have a universal system for allowing all duration based spells to be cast permanently. It's a buff, but I'd balance it by making some spells more dependent on spell power, rather than creating another interface quirck.
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