make necromutation semi-permanent


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Post Friday, 13th December 2013, 15:16

make necromutation semi-permanent

Just a very simple proposal: make it so necromutation stays active until deactivated.

What is my reasoning? Well, if you have necromutation, I can't think of any reason besides a few cases involving potions in which you wouldn't want it active, and it gets pretty annoying having to keep reactivating it. It is true that you could just simply use it once at 90% success rate and never look back, but we could think of something to balance this off I'm sure.
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Post Friday, 13th December 2013, 15:31

Re: Proposal: make necromutation semi-permanent

well, that would certainly be a buff to the spell, because there is a hunger cost associated with casting it. And since you are hungerless in lich form, you essentially don't need food anymore, if it is permanent.

Alternatively, there could be an automatic recast timer on it. I do know that there is some tweak you can do to the code that automatically re-casts it when it is about to expire. Maybe a better solution is to have this feature be part of the spell with an "automatic recast" option on the activate ability screen.
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Post Friday, 13th December 2013, 15:37

Re: Proposal: make necromutation semi-permanent

Tiktacy wrote:Just a very simple proposal: make it so necromutation stays active until deactivated.

What is my reasoning? Well, if you have necromutation, I can't think of any reason besides a few cases involving potions in which you wouldn't want it active, and it gets pretty annoying having to keep reactivating it. It is true that you could just simply use it once at 90% success rate and never look back, but we could think of something to balance this off I'm sure.


I can't think of any reason besides certain specific situations in which you'd *want* to activate necromutation. But that's off-topic somewhat and only my personal opinion.

That aside—

I think all forms getting an option under (a) menu to "auto-recast" them would be fine. So if you are in foo form, under (a) you get the old, "End transformation," and also a new ability (b) "Auto-recast transformation" (or something along those lines). If you choose b, you retain (a) "end transformation" as well as gain the new option under the abilities menu (b) "Switch off auto-recast"

Auto-recast "on" keeps the transformation up continuously; activating the "auto-recast on" takes up usual amount of MP to cast, but then in addition to this it lowers your max MP slightly, proportional to spell level (maybe half spell level, rounded up). The auto-recast option is only available for as long as spell is at or under 5% (or maybe more generous? 10%?) failure rate. If it was higher but dips below for whatever reason, you drop out of auto-recast, with message warning you that this has happened and why. This does not immediately end your transformation, but does mean it will time out after normal length for one casting (not just after one or two turns, like when you select "End Transformation.")

By definition you can only have one transformation active, and the different forms generally have interesting trade-offs, so if you want to keep one active semi-permanently that should be fine balance-wise, it doesn't run into the same problems that auto-recast for charms would. Slight buff in that you don't have to use one turn to recast, but that also means that any disadvantages of the form will add one or two turns if you suddenly want to turn it off (via "End Transformation"). Plus the small malus to max MP is there, to sort-of simulate the MP cost of just recasting it constantly, so as not to make switching between different auto-recasts and normal untransformed mode becomes optimal—maybe that is not necessary, but a max MP cost would be an option.

I think that covers everything, right?


EDIT: Oops, actually didn't cover everything. Okay, normal hunger cost is paid after activating "auto-recast" for your form, and you can simulate the hunger cost being "auto-paid" by having nutrition diminish by the amount you'd normally use casting the spell—this happens after every X number of turns. You get warning if a hunger cost is about to be auto-paid, and it would put you at near starving or lower. This wouldn't matter for necromutation, but for the other forms it would.

I don't know if this is necessary, but you could definitely do it with transmutations and I don't think it would be unbalanced. It kind of comes down to whether or not removing the tedious recasting involved in going with a form semi-permanently is a high enough design priority given 1.) somewhat niche usefulness and might (?) be hard work to code; and 2.) it generally is not a strategically good thing to do even when you can, and while people are of course free to recast as much as they want and use whatever strategies they want, maybe going semi-permanently with a particular form should not be actively encouraged via an elaborate apparatus available through your abilities menu. Maybe this would be like adding a "mutation roulette" auto-ability through (a) menu that becomes available when you've collected at least 12 !mutation and 3 !cure mutation or whatever. But anyway the above is how it *could* be done. And I do think experimenting with various semi-permanent forms at different points in the game would be fun—so if it isn't too much of a headache to code I'd like to see it in the game and play around with it!
Last edited by and into on Friday, 13th December 2013, 15:51, edited 4 times in total.

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Post Friday, 13th December 2013, 15:46

Re: Proposal: make necromutation semi-permanent

Generally I like the idea, but:

Tiktacy wrote:It is true that you could just simply use it once at 90% success rate and never look back, but we could think of something to balance this off I'm sure.

Potions of brilliance and wizardry items exist, so you could cast it once at 10% natural success rate.

Duration could depend on (current) success rate and become infinite at some point, but it's hard to avoid a somewhat hard breakpoint in that case because infinite can never be equal to very long.

The only really good permabuff approach for crawl I have heard of is one where buffs can still expire, but expiration does not depend on time but on other things. Shroud is a good example, except it also expires with time. But I can't think of something that would make sense for Necromutation. Generally a targeted approach for each buff is needed to remove the tedium of recasting while exploring. Either they should be changed to have some downside like Swiftness, or made permanent with some other way of expiration. For some buffs, like Necromutation and maybe all forms, a sustained cost might make sense. That cost could depend on success rate.

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Post Friday, 13th December 2013, 15:51

Re: Proposal: make necromutation semi-permanent

By the way, auto recast is bad. Please lets not talk about it. If you think it's good, think about it until you see the light.

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Post Friday, 13th December 2013, 15:54

Re: Proposal: make necromutation semi-permanent

Galefury wrote:By the way, auto recast is bad. Please lets not talk about it. If you think it's good, think about it until you see the light.


Did you read my proposal or just read "auto-recast" and assume what I was talking about? Maybe it is over-complicated and/or poorly named, but at the very least I had an idea for how the whole wizardry and !brilliance problem could be completely circumvented, and by using an interface that already has established precedent. The ability menu already gets a new option when you enter a transformation, it would be very intuitive for old and new players alike if a "make form (semi-)permanent" feature were added, whatever it was called ("auto-recast," "solidify form," "I want to stay like this don't make me press z* a hundred times," etc. etc.)

[Also the complicated part is explaining how it could work "under the hood," I think the effect I described would be very intuitive and non-intrusive for actual gameplay, which is what matters.]

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Post Friday, 13th December 2013, 16:02

Re: Proposal: make necromutation semi-permanent

I didn't actually read it, but I saw things like "warning when a hunger cost is supposed to be auto-paid". It's bad. Any auto-recast thingy that has things happening at specific times without any player or monster action causing these events is bad. And anything that doesn't shouldn't be called auto-recast.

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Post Friday, 13th December 2013, 16:07

Re: Proposal: make necromutation semi-permanent

Galefury wrote:I didn't actually read it, but I saw things like "warning when a hunger cost is supposed to be auto-paid". It's bad. Any auto-recast thingy that has things happening at specific times without any player or monster action causing these events is bad. And anything that doesn't shouldn't be called auto-recast.


Then I shouldn't have called it auto-recast.

If you read the whole sentence it ways, "Warning when a hunger cost is supposed to be auto-paid *and would put you at near-starving or lower."* The idea was to involve as little grief or silliness for the player as possible, without introducing something that would be 100% optimal over "cast as you go." Spell hunger usually isn't a big thing, but switching all transmutations into "one up-front hunger cost" from where they are now is an extremely major change and not simply an interface / annoyance-removal measure.

However, a more elegant way to handle that would just be to have an up-front hunger cost of usual amount, plus a somewhat heightened metabolism when doing anything but resting. That also takes care of the problem of resting, which (with no enemies in sight) shouldn't cost more if you have semi-permanent form activated. This also removes any bad interactions with Berserk, and means that no large chunk of nutrition is suddenly going to be spent without input from player.

Really though, just read the proposal before making a comment, seesh!
Last edited by and into on Friday, 13th December 2013, 16:20, edited 3 times in total.

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Post Friday, 13th December 2013, 16:09

Re: Proposal: make necromutation semi-permanent

Maybe read the dev wiki page on permabuffs, and keep in mind that all of the things on it are not in crawl, for very good reasons.

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Post Friday, 13th December 2013, 16:10

Re: Proposal: make necromutation semi-permanent

Galefury wrote:Maybe read the dev wiki page on permabuffs, and keep in mind that all of the things on it are not in crawl, for very good reasons.


I specifically talk about this in my first post! Well, I say why my idea is different from permabuffs. However my differentiation was rooted in the fact that I *have* read the dev wiki page on permabuffs, as well as one or two threads on the Tavern concerning it. So... Maybe read my first post in this thread before dismissing my idea, however unfortunately I might have named the idea I described?

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Post Friday, 13th December 2013, 16:31

Re: Proposal: make necromutation semi-permanent

Ah, your proposal is pretty much the same as the best thing on that wiki page.

One thing to keep in mind: when proposing to change something, it's okay to change things. Your proposal already removes miscast effects and the time cost of recasting. Now why not change more to actually turn it into a good idea? Currently it's needlessly complicated because you are trying to keep most of the costs that happen when recasting. Edit: also because you want to keep the current way of casting forms and have permanency as an option, which is a terrible idea in my opinion.

I think forms are just about the only buffs where not having expiration at all is fine. But current failure rate needs to have some effect, because it is the main thing used for restricting access to high level spells and can be greatly reduced for short times. So I think for forms some sort of cost to sustain them would be good, and the cost should depend on success rate. Maybe also on power. Possibly spell power multiplied by success rate would be good. The cost should be easy to explain in one sentence. It could be anything from lowered defenses (you have trouble holding your form) to reduced mana regen. If possible, it should be the same for all forms, just with tweaked numbers.

Also there should not be an ability you need to use to stay in the form. There should be exactly one way to cast each spell. Either it times out, or not, depending on the spell. But you should not get to choose, that only leads to trouble. If it does not time out, cast the transformation to transform (subject to miscasts), cast again to untransform (like the current ability to change back to human, no miscasts or mana cost). Also, all transformations should work the same way, either they all time out or none do.

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Post Friday, 13th December 2013, 16:50

Re: Proposal: make necromutation semi-permanent

As far as an idea for limiting form power by miscast chance, how about this:

Each turn in the form, there's a 1/10 chance of checking your spell success rate for the form, and reverting you if you fail (alternately: suffering a miscast effect if you fail without reverting). The spell success rate would probably need to be based off your non-form self to avoid the fact that most forms penalize your spell success rate, and some forms would remove your armour penalty.

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Post Friday, 13th December 2013, 16:58

Re: Proposal: make necromutation semi-permanent

All form effects should be either permanent while the form is used, or be caused directly by some player or monster action. Hell effects have their place in the hells, there's no reason to add them to form spells.
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Post Friday, 13th December 2013, 17:17

Re: Proposal: make necromutation semi-permanent

Ok, how about this, all forms are immediately recast upon expiration, however, the recast does not take up a turn, and the timer is only active while their are creatures in your LOS(similar to how slow healing works now). With this, we would probably have to remove the special casing of blade paws and Felids(it was silly anyway).

How does that sound?
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Post Friday, 13th December 2013, 17:43

Re: Proposal: make necromutation semi-permanent

Only ticking buff timers down when enemies are in sight is a new and interesting idea. But it would work much better without automatic recasting. Also, I think there are already ideas that are better. For forms I would prefer not having expiration with time at all. For defensive spells I would prefer something like how Shroud works. That doesn't leave a lot of buffs that you always want to have active that don't provide a benefit outside of combat.

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Post Friday, 13th December 2013, 17:56

Re: Proposal: make necromutation semi-permanent

And_into: Quick offtopic aside. Your points are usually very good but get easily lost because of the length of your posts. If you work on being more concise, I think you could avoid having to re-explain things.

Anyways I agree that there is no need to make necromutation a semi-permanent buff. It is no work to recast it, in the off-chance you want it up for long durations.

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Post Friday, 13th December 2013, 22:22

Re: Proposal: make necromutation semi-permanent

Galefury wrote:Only ticking buff timers down when enemies are in sight.


This was the train of though I was on when I saw this thread (but couldn't post till now).

More specifically, instead of a simple timer you have "concentration" which regenerates like HP or MP, and decays as a function of charms/transmutation skill, number and level/failure rate of buffs, and tension. concentration is a hidden value, and will loose (all?) buffs when it hits zero.

This does a number of things as a peudo permabuff:
- reduces the casting tedium if you want a low level buff on all the time (repel Missile)
- reduces the need to recast after small fights (a rat while auto traveling)
- temporary casting buffs lead to temporary buffs
- acts like a timed buff in battles
- encourages smart play, avoiding dangerous situations
- meaningful decisions between what buffs to use (rather than all of them)

I also think it might be an idea for the second cast of a (already active) buff prompts a cancellation of the spell, since recasting won't have an effect on your concentration.

edit: forgot to mention, although the variable is hidden you do get messages like "our concentration is strained" at which point you may choose to deactivate a less important buff.

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Post Friday, 13th December 2013, 22:57

Re: Proposal: make necromutation semi-permanent

1010011010 wrote:concentration


That's crazy—I had to run off to class before posting, but I had a rather similar idea, inspired by Galefury's comment.

Anyway, to take another bite at the apple (and I'll try to be more concise this time), there might be a simpler way, while still accomplishing a bolder change in tmut along the lines of what Galefury and others have suggested. How about:

1.) Casting form spell activates it, requires usual checks/costs

2.) Casting it again deactivates it, but after slight delay (as is case now), and requires the same check and costs as casting it
2a.) Get rid of the (a) "End Transformation"
2b.) You cannot amnesia a foo form spell while in the that form

3.) Doing stuff that lowers your "max" int (so stat drain doesn't count), or taking off wizardry, gives a penalized spell success check if doing so lowers your spell success by >X% (probably scaling up with level of the tmut in question). This penalized check means the game ("under the hood") rolls 1+1d3 times to see if you successfully "cast" the spell (without taking MP). If you fail one of those checks, you get a message about "losing control of the magic sustaining your altered form" and this gives a miscast effect appropriate for the given spell, plus a forced end transformation (after the usual short delay) for your current form.
3a.) If about to take off something that will cause the penalized roll from 3., you get a warning that "This piece of equipment is vital in helping you maintain your current form. Are you sure you want to remove it without first ending your transformation safely?"
3b.) !brilliance could be a bit more generous if you want: A few turns before the effect wears off, you get a warning "You are having trouble controlling your form!", and when the effect does finally end, it simply ends the transformation (after the usual short delay) *without* a miscast effect.

4.) Successfully casting a different form while in one form switches you over immediately, as things currently are

5.) The spellcasting penalties from certain forms (blade hands and spider form) do not apply to those specific spells. (So being in blade hands makes it harder to cast all spells *except* blade hands, ditto for spider form.)

6.) All of the tmut change-form spells can have N/A under spell power now, I guess?

@WalkerBoh: Fair enough. :)
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Post Friday, 13th December 2013, 23:41

Re: Proposal: make necromutation semi-permanent

I've made a fairly detailed design on the wiki. I think it's basically the least intrusive to balance and interface you can do. When I brought it up on ##crawl-dev, the feedback I got was that it would be better to fix spells to make it undesirable to keep them up all the time. Like it was done to swiftness.
Although maybe a patch could be accepted even if enabled only for a few spells. Form spells are good candidates of course.
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Post Saturday, 14th December 2013, 00:32

Re: Proposal: make necromutation semi-permanent

Just a personal opinion, but permanent forms sound good to me. As galefury rightly points out, there has to be some success/power related cost.

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Post Saturday, 14th December 2013, 02:11

Re: Proposal: make necromutation semi-permanent

Making non-lichform forms permanent shouldn't really require any changes other than changing the duration. You already don't want to walk around in any of those forms, so doing so is the payment for keeping it active. This would mean you want to end transformation after every fight, but that's pretty much already the case anyway so that's not a big deal.

Making me recast the spell to end transformation sounds very bad; it adds more resting to the early game (rest up for 3 mp to end spider form after every fight, then rest up that 3 mp again; plus you're making the form worse for no reason since now I get two chances for a 30% poison miscast per fight instead of one and since I have rpois- in spider form...) and tm already has a lot of early-game resting. Just keep the ability.

I don't want to see the transmutations spells I like and actually use made worse for consistency with a bad spell that I don't use.

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Post Saturday, 14th December 2013, 04:21

Re: Proposal: make necromutation semi-permanent

An easy solution would be to have optional auto-recast ability only take effect during auto-travel. I believe I read a post where a simple edit to a text file will recast Necromutation when you receive a warning it will expire, but only while you are auto-traveling. The advantage here would be that it will not auto-recast during a fight, or while you are starving or something.
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Post Saturday, 14th December 2013, 12:55

Re: Proposal: make necromutation semi-permanent

crate wrote:Making me recast the spell to end transformation sounds very bad; it adds more resting to the early game (rest up for 3 mp to end spider form after every fight, then rest up that 3 mp again; plus you're making the form worse for no reason since now I get two chances for a 30% poison miscast per fight instead of one and since I have rpois- in spider form...) and tm already has a lot of early-game resting. Just keep the ability.


I don't think anyone intended on the recast taking mp or have a chance for fail, but act as a magic equivalent of of evokable deactivation. I suggested it not really for transformations but to avoid clogging up the abilities menu when you might have many permabuffs active with individual end buff abilities.

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Post Saturday, 14th December 2013, 13:55

Re: Proposal: make necromutation semi-permanent

If it's not casting the spell (taking mp, failure chance, hunger cost, etc.) it should go on the "a" menu as an ability because it's not the spell.

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Post Saturday, 14th December 2013, 14:20

Re: Proposal: make necromutation semi-permanent

This discussions is too opaque for me. I don't see any potential for immediate changes.

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Post Saturday, 14th December 2013, 21:05

Re: Proposal: make necromutation semi-permanent

Galefury wrote:I think forms are just about the only buffs where not having expiration at all is fine. But current failure rate needs to have some effect, because it is the main thing used for restricting access to high level spells and can be greatly reduced for short times. So I think for forms some sort of cost to sustain them would be good, and the cost should depend on success rate. Maybe also on power. Possibly spell power multiplied by success rate would be good. The cost should be easy to explain in one sentence. It could be anything from lowered defenses (you have trouble holding your form) to reduced mana regen. If possible, it should be the same for all forms, just with tweaked numbers.

How about "Forms reduce your maximum MP by X/X% while you are in them, with X decreasing as you get better spell success"? That seems like the best way to go if we want permaforms.

e: If the form is constant then I think any costs associated with it should either be constant (like max MP reduction) or over time (increased hunger rate, reduced MP regen). Having costs suddenly kick in in the background seems worse than the status quo to me.
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Post Sunday, 15th December 2013, 06:03

Re: Proposal: make necromutation semi-permanent

dpeg wrote:This discussions is too opaque for me. I don't see any potential for immediate changes.


Please elaborate what you mean and give a brief description of your experiences with necromutation(because I'm pretty sure most people don't use it).
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