Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback


Although the central place for this kind of discussion is on the CDO wiki, some may find it helpful to discuss potential requests and suggestions here first.

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Post Saturday, 2nd December 2017, 19:42

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

nago wrote:The major problem with the current version of Gn is that most of them will be quite similar chars in late game (1h+shield +same set of good spells, etc),


I think their shield apt should be reduced and weapon apts increased to make two-handers more attractive.

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Post Monday, 29th January 2018, 09:13

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

Someone in the thread suggested that different Gnoll games will be too similar to each other because you would use the same spells late game but my problem with Gnolls is that I almost stop casting late game (at least in 3 rune game): you are practically guaranteed to find a good vampiric weapon and it is easy to hoard scrolls of enchant weapon for it because you use many enchanted weapons before that so it becomes a tab fest. I am not sure what can be done about it :(
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Post Monday, 29th January 2018, 20:13

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

VAF -- I wonder if that is borne out by the data. Sounds like a good strategy, but speculation that it's so dominant/obvious that a problematic proportion of players will fall into it. Maybe there's enough other attractors in Gnoll's strategy-space that it's not an issue.
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Post Monday, 29th January 2018, 20:37

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

Probably. Those 2 manuals in Ice Cave are confirmed to be useless, I checked that game, the manual of Armour was found at XL 15. I am XL 27 now and the manual is still in inventory. Armour 21.5, other skills 17.2.
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Post Wednesday, 31st January 2018, 04:58

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

Theoretically, if you get a skill to 27 with manuals, will the remaining skills train slightly faster?
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Post Wednesday, 31st January 2018, 11:08

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

Yes, they will.
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Post Thursday, 8th February 2018, 00:31

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

I played and won a gnoll during the tournament, I thought it was kinda cool as a change-up from 'regular crawl' but it's not a species I think I'd revisit super frequently. Which is fine, I think it's fine for species that are described by the above to exist in crawl (this is also how I felt about WJC).

This probably isn't the thread for it, but something I noticed is that there's a banner in the tournament about winning with invocations titles, and it seems like gnolls should be excluded from that since they seem to get an invocations title always provided their god supports it and they win at a high enough XL.
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Post Thursday, 8th February 2018, 15:22

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

I don't see the problem with Gnolls that people keep bringing up. Yes, they struggle with high-end skills, but that is kinda the point of the race. You exchange the ability to use the high-end skill-intensive stuff for the ability to use anything good you find. If you start boosting their aptitudes for one thing or another, you lose the point of the race. And what about those people who generally enjoy playing 1h + shield and a selection of good spells?

Besides, if you find something good enough, 2H still becomes attractive (found the storm bow on my current run, and had been collecting arrows since D:1, so it's quite practical for me). You'll suffer a bit on the side of delay, but the exchange can be worth it on an artefact executioner's axe, for example.

That said, there are also ways around this. Playing with Chei, for example, sends your stats high enough that you can get around some of the gimping of heavier armors, higher-end spells, etc. Ashen's boosting from being fully bound takes away a bit of your versatility, but when fully bound with a 2H weapon your skills will be boosted nicely.

Additionally, manuals aren't quite "useless" like VeryAngryFelid said. As his numbers demonstrate, you will end up with about 4 extra skill levels in the boosted stat (a touch more if you find one earlier). Those 4 extra skill levels, especially if combined with Ashenzari, mean that many things that reach their min-delay or have their penalty counter-acted in the skill 20s will be within reach. For my current run, for example, this means that I'll reach over 20 shields, which makes large shields more attractive to me. So it does make a difference, just not as much as other races.

Back to my point, though, the complaints I see in this thread seem to be about the overall play-style of the race...which was intended. You can't have super-boosted skills AND everything trained AND the ability to get high-end skills...otherwise no one would want to play anything else. If I could hit lvl 23 or more on my weapon skills on a gnoll...for all of them, while also training magic...why on earth would I play something like a minotaur that might be able to eke out a few more levels but would have awful casting and less weapon versatility?

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Post Tuesday, 13th February 2018, 02:49

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

VeryAngryFelid wrote:Someone in the thread suggested that different Gnoll games will be too similar to each other because you would use the same spells late game but my problem with Gnolls is that I almost stop casting late game (at least in 3 rune game): you are practically guaranteed to find a good vampiric weapon and it is easy to hoard scrolls of enchant weapon for it because you use many enchanted weapons before that so it becomes a tab fest. I am not sure what can be done about it :(

I have just splatted two gnolls back to back in zot, both were quite similar in spite of different gods (uskayaw and qazlol) and both were wearing gds and vampiric weapons (one a latajang, one a double sword/shield). They were still casting because spectral weapon is really good when you have a good weapon but that's about all they were casting. I just found it interesting that someone else plays them about like me (but probably more skillfully).

So convergent gameplay is probably a pretty high likelihood, but I am not sure it is a problem.

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Post Tuesday, 13th February 2018, 10:31

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

Just jumped in to say I love the current iteration.
Can play around with all the things I normally dislike using XP on, a gnoll game is always interesting for me.
My favorite so far is probably the wizard start, gnoll isn't too fragile so magic dart+any weapon+throwing make it really easy to get up to conjure flame/mephitic, with those it's crazy versatile.
Finding an early Borgnjor's Vile Clutch is double fun, whacking things stuck in flame clouds + constricted by zombie hands does feel a bit unfair :)

Somewhat related, acid is my new favorite wand.

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Post Thursday, 15th February 2018, 02:02

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

pickled_heretic wrote:
VeryAngryFelid wrote:Someone in the thread suggested that different Gnoll games will be too similar to each other because you would use the same spells late game but my problem with Gnolls is that I almost stop casting late game (at least in 3 rune game): you are practically guaranteed to find a good vampiric weapon and it is easy to hoard scrolls of enchant weapon for it because you use many enchanted weapons before that so it becomes a tab fest. I am not sure what can be done about it :(

I have just splatted two gnolls back to back in zot, both were quite similar in spite of different gods (uskayaw and qazlol) and both were wearing gds and vampiric weapons (one a latajang, one a double sword/shield). They were still casting because spectral weapon is really good when you have a good weapon but that's about all they were casting. I just found it interesting that someone else plays them about like me (but probably more skillfully).

So convergent gameplay is probably a pretty high likelihood, but I am not sure it is a problem.


While it may be correct to go with a weapon if you find something very high end (and vampiric is definitely tempting), I always felt like unarmed and transmutations was a clear winner for gnolls. Since the downside of using transmutations is that you have to train roughly 3 skills instead of only 1 weapon skill, gnolls don't pay this penalty. With "free" 1% fail statue form, why not use it? You can use statue + weapon, of course, but unarmed does incredible damage...

Note you don't need high UC skill to deal high damage in forms, although in the case of statue form, having lower skill can combine with the slow from statue to give you 10-11 aut attacks for a while until your UC gets higher. My 4 rune gnoll ended with 19 skill in UC and never had any real problems with attack speed: http://crawl.akrasiac.org/rawdata/Tason ... 224752.txt

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Post Thursday, 15th February 2018, 09:02

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

tasonir wrote:With "free" 1% fail statue form, why not use it?


1) It is not 1%
2) It prevents easy retreat
3) It results in lots of unnecessary key presses instead of just pressing tab as with vampiric weapon.
Basically not every character is with Chei :)
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Post Thursday, 15th February 2018, 09:40

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

tasonir wrote:While it may be correct to go with a weapon if you find something very high end (and vampiric is definitely tempting), I always felt like unarmed and transmutations was a clear winner for gnolls. Since the downside of using transmutations is that you have to train roughly 3 skills instead of only 1 weapon skill, gnolls don't pay this penalty. With "free" 1% fail statue form, why not use it? You can use statue + weapon, of course, but unarmed does incredible damage...

Note you don't need high UC skill to deal high damage in forms, although in the case of statue form, having lower skill can combine with the slow from statue to give you 10-11 aut attacks for a while until your UC gets higher. My 4 rune gnoll ended with 19 skill in UC and never had any real problems with attack speed: http://crawl.akrasiac.org/rawdata/Tason ... 224752.txt


Didn't ever consider statue form for general use on gnoll, with the ridiculous amounts of spells/evocables available the slow didn't look good.
Looking back my gnolls tend to end up with zombie hands + lightning spire + servitor with OOD/LCS or iron shot, maybe freezing cloud as magical offense.
Since it's tabbing most of the time the defenses from statue could come real handy even if damage wasn't as good.
Not sold on the damage output as a good weapon is already pretty close, spectral weapon feels pretty common and does silly amounts of murdering.

Also, is it just me or fan of gales/phial of floods really are totally useless?
Not a fan of sack of spiders/box of beasts either but they aren't always bad.

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Post Thursday, 15th February 2018, 10:59

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

Draba wrote:
tasonir wrote:While it may be correct to go with a weapon if you find something very high end (and vampiric is definitely tempting), I always felt like unarmed and transmutations was a clear winner for gnolls. Since the downside of using transmutations is that you have to train roughly 3 skills instead of only 1 weapon skill, gnolls don't pay this penalty. With "free" 1% fail statue form, why not use it? You can use statue + weapon, of course, but unarmed does incredible damage...

Note you don't need high UC skill to deal high damage in forms, although in the case of statue form, having lower skill can combine with the slow from statue to give you 10-11 aut attacks for a while until your UC gets higher. My 4 rune gnoll ended with 19 skill in UC and never had any real problems with attack speed: http://crawl.akrasiac.org/rawdata/Tason ... 224752.txt


Didn't ever consider statue form for general use on gnoll, with the ridiculous amounts of spells/evocables available the slow didn't look good.
Looking back my gnolls tend to end up with zombie hands + lightning spire + servitor with OOD/LCS or iron shot, maybe freezing cloud as magical offense.
Since it's tabbing most of the time the defenses from statue could come real handy even if damage wasn't as good.
Not sold on the damage output as a good weapon is already pretty close, spectral weapon feels pretty common and does silly amounts of murdering.

Also, is it just me or fan of gales/phial of floods really are totally useless?
Not a fan of sack of spiders/box of beasts either but they aren't always bad.


Fan of Gales have saved my ass numerous times against fast monsters in late-game (and on the Orb run in particular). As long as you can get to the stairs/portal without dying, even at Evo ~10-12 Fan quite reliably blows everything away from you

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Post Thursday, 15th February 2018, 12:21

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

Draba wrote:Also, is it just me or fan of gales/phial of floods really are totally useless?
Not a fan of sack of spiders/box of beasts either but they aren't always bad.

Phial, sack, and box are some of the best items in the game. They generate powerful allies with relatively low xp investment (I usually train 4-5 evo before lair branches depending on what i've found and 10-12 by the end of a 3-rune game), and are spammable. A horde of spiders / a few box beasts will kill basically anything in the game and you will take substantially less damage in the process because whatever you are fighting will waste their turns attacking your allies instead of you. Allies are broken in crawl. Phial does damage on hit, generates allies, and forces your opponents to fight in unfavorable terrain. It recharges fast enough by midgame to use on any remotely dangerous fights. (And early game a single water elemental will destroy most threats singlehandedly.) All of these items, however, are best used before you are at dangerously low hp and surrounded.

Fan is mostly bad. Sometimes you don't have 52 better items though.

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Post Thursday, 15th February 2018, 13:22

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

amaril wrote:Phial, sack, and box are some of the best items in the game. They generate powerful allies with relatively low xp investment (I usually train 4-5 evo before lair branches depending on what i've found and 10-12 by the end of a 3-rune game), and are spammable. A horde of spiders / a few box beasts will kill basically anything in the game and you will take substantially less damage in the process because whatever you are fighting will waste their turns attacking your allies instead of you. Allies are broken in crawl. Phial does damage on hit, generates allies, and forces your opponents to fight in unfavorable terrain. It recharges fast enough by midgame to use on any remotely dangerous fights. (And early game a single water elemental will destroy most threats singlehandedly.) All of these items, however, are best used before you are at dangerously low hp and surrounded.

Fan is mostly bad. Sometimes you don't have 52 better items though.


My bad, I was a bit vague on the summons: do know that allies are great, but to me the evo ones felt underwhelming.
Thought it's just me usually skilling evocations a bit late even when I want to use them: getting killdudes in decent shape is first, HP/defenses second.
Now with gnolls I had a bit more room to play with them but by the time they showed up spiders/phial just weren't doing much. Might be the <20 skill from the unfocused training.
Every single case I would've probably been better off with simply casting something/channeling/hitting things.

Lamp of fire summons also felt on the weak side but paired with the fire clouds they were always a big help.
Same with digging/acid wands, they are very nice to have at all stages of the game.

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Post Thursday, 15th February 2018, 16:55

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

Gnoll seems to start off with really powerful SDI stats. Presumably this is to offset their slightly slower learning in the very early game, but it contributes to feeling overly suited for everything. A bit like how you wish humans would play.

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Post Friday, 16th February 2018, 02:29

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

Finally ascended with the third gnoll, this guy surprisingly didn't end up with a vampiric weapon. There really were not any good choices for vampiric at all. He instead equip ID'ed a +11 fragile vorpal longbow and decided he was just gonna end the game with that. With amulet of harm he was 3-shotting some OoF, it was quite satisfying. (Defenses were not bad either, he was using branded cpa). He worshipped Okawaru and it was fun watching the God decide what to give him.

I have decided my favorite part of crawl is looting shinies and gnolls do it better than anyone. On the other hand they seem extremely easy compared to anything else I play, maybe overpowered. If gnolls make it in, I cannot fathom some of the nerfs made to weaker races since I last played.
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Post Friday, 16th February 2018, 07:33

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

'looting shinies'???
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Post Friday, 16th February 2018, 16:30

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

pickled_heretic wrote:Finally ascended with the third gnoll, this guy surprisingly didn't end up with a vampiric weapon. There really were not any good choices for vampiric at all. He instead equip ID'ed a +11 fragile vorpal longbow and decided he was just gonna end the game with that. With amulet of harm he was 3-shotting some OoF, it was quite satisfying. (Defenses were not bad either, he was using branded cpa). He worshipped Okawaru and it was fun watching the God decide what to give him.

I have decided my favorite part of crawl is looting shinies and gnolls do it better than anyone. On the other hand they seem extremely easy compared to anything else I play, maybe overpowered. If gnolls make it in, I cannot fathom some of the nerfs made to weaker races since I last played.

What nerfs are you failing to fathom? I'm asking because Gnolls are in as of 0.21.

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Post Saturday, 17th February 2018, 00:19

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

Majang wrote:'looting shinies'???

Seeing what crap you get off the floor. Gnolls can use almost all of it instantly, which is the main appeal.
Floodkiller wrote:
pickled_heretic wrote:Finally ascended with the third gnoll, this guy surprisingly didn't end up with a vampiric weapon. There really were not any good choices for vampiric at all. He instead equip ID'ed a +11 fragile vorpal longbow and decided he was just gonna end the game with that. With amulet of harm he was 3-shotting some OoF, it was quite satisfying. (Defenses were not bad either, he was using branded cpa). He worshipped Okawaru and it was fun watching the God decide what to give him.

I have decided my favorite part of crawl is looting shinies and gnolls do it better than anyone. On the other hand they seem extremely easy compared to anything else I play, maybe overpowered. If gnolls make it in, I cannot fathom some of the nerfs made to weaker races since I last played.

What nerfs are you failing to fathom? I'm asking because Gnolls are in as of 0.21.

Obviously they are in .21 as that is what I was playing. I was referring to ogres losing +3 m&f. Who asked for this? Why? Was ogre really so overtuned compared to even 2/3 of the races? But from looking through changelog this is old history so what ever.

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Post Saturday, 17th February 2018, 15:23

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

I disagree completely with the sentiment that gnolls are samey. There's no need to wear heavy armour... it's likely that players get into habits. There's no reason to suppose those habits are the optimal way to play gnoll.

Here's a list of spells I've used in my 4 gnoll wins:

  Code:
Apportation x4
Summon Butterflies x2
Magic Dart
Song of Slaying
Shroud of Golubira
Blink x2
Spectral Weapon x4
Regeneration x3
Ozocubu's Armour
Conjure Flame
Lesser Beckoning
Passage of Golubria x3
Animate Dead
Control Undead
Yara's Violent Unrav x2
Irradiate x2
Dispel Undead x2
Summon Forest
Bjornor's Vile Clutch
Silence
Aura of Abjuration
Iskenderun's Battlesphere
Bolt of Draining
Shadow Creatures x2
Freezing Cloud x2
Defelect Missiles x2
Death Channel
Iron Shot
Malign Gateway x2
Spellforged Servitor
LCS


The main items that show up multiple times are big utility spells that show up on most of my non-gnolls too. As for armour/gods: I've won win robes, pds, cpa and ring mail. Fedhas, Yred, Hepliakqana and Makhleb. There's very little that's the same between these characters apart from utility spells.

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Post Sunday, 18th February 2018, 10:36

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

Well actually with Gn... There's no need to not wear heavy armour: of the spells you posted only LCS isn't easibly castable in heavy armor a 3 runes game without wiz\ash\chei\etc.

All the others are gradually castable in plate: roughly, lv.4 are castable before end Dungeon\Lair, lv.5 by lair branch.

Sure, with ozo armor you can get comparable AC+EV defence, so Gn in light armor is comparable powerwise in most situation, but I don't see any reasons to use in between armors - ring mail, scale mail, chain mail, dragon armors - except early game where you may use a op spell - e.g. lightning spire and a plate would sunk your spell success rate at that point.
screw it I hate this character I'm gonna go melee Gastronok

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Post Tuesday, 20th February 2018, 23:37

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

pickled_heretic wrote:Obviously they are in .21 as that is what I was playing. I was referring to ogres losing +3 m&f. Who asked for this? Why? Was ogre really so overtuned compared to even 2/3 of the races? But from looking through changelog this is old history so what ever.

My take on the ogre thing, although it's offtopic for this thread, is basically that they were still a fairly strong race (simply due to +30% hp), with a counterpoint of a weak early game (due to limited armor options pre-dragon armor). Despite being fairly strong however, they're almost always weaker than trolls, who overshadowed them.

They wanted to change ogres from "weaker trolls" to "weaker trolls, but can learn magic". It's true that they could have kept their +3 M&F and gained magic, but they wanted to make them a bit more versitile rather than have everyone go with maces, so there you are.

If anything, I'd probably say they could have pushed the magic aptitudes up a bit higher even, but they're fine.

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