Throw Flame worse than Flame Tongue?


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Slime Squisher

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Post Tuesday, 17th April 2012, 20:34

Throw Flame worse than Flame Tongue?

I've been Playing HOFEs for the last while, and coming to realize what may be a spell-balance issue worth bringing up here.

In the range of spellpower below Flame Tongue's cap, Throw Flame appears to have a significantly worse to-hit than Flame Tongue -- to the point that, when you account for misses, the damage-per-turn output of Flame Tongue is HIGHER than for Throw Flame -- at half the mana cost. Is this a reality or my distorted perceptions?

I'll see if I can set up some low-level casters in the arena to throw these at each other. It would also be interesting to compare it to the 100% hit / full-LOS-range Magic Dart.

It's come to be the last spell I learn from the starting book, if at all. Too much mana wasted on misses while trying to whittle down things at long range.
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Abyss Ambulator

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Post Tuesday, 17th April 2012, 21:02

Re: Throw Flame worse than Flame Tongue?

For what it's worth, I don't think I've ever bothered with Throw Flame on FE. I wouldn't mind seeing it removed entirely from the FE book.

Spider Stomper

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Post Tuesday, 17th April 2012, 21:45

Re: Throw Flame worse than Flame Tongue?

I have always had the feeling that Throw Flame is garbage. Now, I see that the numbers confirm my in-game experiences:

  Code:
throw flame:
dam: 2d(4+pow/10) -> power cap = 50 -> max_damage = 18    ; avg. damage = 9
to_hit: 8+pow/10  ->                -> max_to_hit = 13

flame tongue:
dam: 1d(8+pow/4)  -> power cap = 25 -> max_damage = 14.25 ; avg. damage = 7.125
to_hit: 11+pow/6  ->                -> max_to_hit = 15.16

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mattlistener
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Dungeon Master

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Post Tuesday, 17th April 2012, 22:04

Re: Throw Flame worse than Flame Tongue?

mattlistener wrote:I'll see if I can set up some low-level casters in the arena to throw these at each other.

That wouldn't be very helpful. Player and monsters to hit and damage are quite different.
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Bim

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Post Tuesday, 17th April 2012, 23:01

Re: Throw Flame worse than Flame Tongue?

Just been playing a few HEFE (oh the originality!) and I have to agree that I think Throw is pretty rubbish. I normally memorise it for those occasions where I'm unable to reach normally, but otherwise just use Flame Tongue. Could Throw Flame possibly get a chance at penetration, or give flame tongue a range of 2 max?
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 17th April 2012, 23:26

Re: Throw Flame worse than Flame Tongue?

Throw Flame has higher range, and higher average damage. Flame Tongue being more mp-efficient would matter if you couldn't retreat to the last floor at any time to recover all your mp in one button press. Hammering that incoming ogre starting from the edge of LOS is more likely to kill it before it reaches melee than hammering it starting from four or five tiles away will. Mp is always a renewable resource, distance between you and the other guy might not be.

Both spells will nearly never see use once you have your mid-level spells online, but that's the case with most low-level spells. Amnesia both without any regrets.

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Post Tuesday, 17th April 2012, 23:54

Re: Throw Flame worse than Flame Tongue?

I think the main problem is that they're extremely similar low level spells, with very little in terms of damage or effectiveness. Granted spark and bolt are very similar, but they're many levels apart and greatly differ in power.

I feel that we could do with differentiating them more, or replacing one with a different, more utility flame spell.
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Slime Squisher

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Post Wednesday, 18th April 2012, 00:21

Re: Throw Flame worse than Flame Tongue?

KoboldLord wrote:Throw Flame has higher range, and higher average damage.

Throw Flame has a higher average damage (on hits) at max power, but according to the code above, Flame Tongue and Throw Flame have equivalent damage up to FT's power cap:

pow=5: 1d9 vs. 2d4.5
pow=15: 1d12 vs. 2d5.5
pow=25: 1d14 vs. 2d6.5

Since FT always has a higher to-hit, FT delivers better damage-per-turn than TF until well after FT's power cap of 25, at half the mana cost. By then you've learned Fireball and it's close to irrelevant. The "I want to burn mana on things at long range" niche that's left seems pretty narrow.

(I'll admit, the existence of Conjure Flame and Sticky Flame make me less concerned about killing things before they reach me as opposed to shortly afterwards. But they're in the same starting book so that's relevant for balance too.)
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Wednesday, 18th April 2012, 01:07

Re: Throw Flame worse than Flame Tongue?

Killing things faster is always better. Turns spent approaching a monster, or allowing the monster to approach, are bad turns. Throw Flame can kill an orc wizard or priest the moment it steps onto the edge of LOS. Flame Tongue can't do that. Sometimes you can run back around a corner and use either one, but other times the terrain doesn't work out for you and you just want things dead fast.

Nor does Fireball replace Throw Flame for LOS-edge sniping. Fireball makes significant amounts of noise. Throw Flame does not.

Range is an enormously important factor in spell selection of direct damage spells, so if your analysis ignores range it is clearly inadequate.

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Snake Sneak

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Post Thursday, 19th April 2012, 00:54

Re: Throw Flame worse than Flame Tongue?

Throw flame works fine where its at. You also neglect that fact that when your spell power is well over 30 and you have fireball, you might not want to spend fireball mana on whatever you need to hit.
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Blades Runner

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Post Thursday, 19th April 2012, 16:06

Re: Throw Flame worse than Flame Tongue?

I dont use Throw Flame. Maybe that is a personal error, though. It doesn't really take any effort to memorize. I just tend not to because Throw Flame and Flame Tongue are so similar.

Halls Hopper

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Post Sunday, 22nd April 2012, 04:05

Re: Throw Flame worse than Flame Tongue?

I play a lot of FEs , and throw flame is a better all around spell than flame tongue. Flame tongue is a great level 1 attack spell, but it's severely limited in usefulness after the first time that you encounter something with a ranged attack. There's a pretty big gap between having throw flame online and having fireball online, and I think removing it would be antagonizing the early game of a class who's early game is already very difficult.
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