Please bring back Lamia


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Mines Malingerer

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 12:20

Please bring back Lamia

I always found Lamia to be a very imaginative and appropriate unique for Snake Pit. The idea of a ferocious female serpent heroine clad in magic armour and weaving mighty spells at her mesmerized victim...wow, very fitting indeed! What exactly was the reasoning behind removing this unique? Spider's Nest has Arachne, Shoals has Polyphemus & Ilsuiw, Swamp has the The Lernaean hydra. Now Snake branch has no "special" unique, which is sad imho. Also she often was a good source of an excellent polearm plus magic naga barding. I miss her, please bring her back.
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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 12:46

Re: Please bring back Lamia

Aizul.

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 12:47

Re: Please bring back Lamia

Aizul can appear outside of Snake (and often does), unlike other uniques he mentions.
Actually I don't even remember last time I've seen him in Snake.

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 14:20

Re: Please bring back Lamia

move jory to snake, problem solved
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Mines Malingerer

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 14:55

Re: Please bring back Lamia

Just bring back my sexy naga dominatrix! :mrgreen:
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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 15:04

Re: Please bring back Lamia

I agree, please bring back lamia. Her flavor was awesome and she almost always affected the way you play your game.

Not only is she a cool unique, she also does exactly what a unique should, she makes you bend your strategy to and forces you to win with tactics instead of brute force. As deadly as greater nagas, they don't make people change the way they conquer the challenge any further than MAYBE quaffing speed, or maybe using a powerful wand. Even with the new additions to snake pits, I think Lamia is worth adding back in.

The thing I like about lamia is the fact that OOD is an incredibly scary spell especially early on, and it is the only non-instant projectile in the game. That means you can dodge it with tactics, not stats. And correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't crawl encourage tactical decision making?
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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 16:17

Re: Please bring back Lamia

The problem with Lamia is that she didn't do any of the things you described above. There is no incentive to fight her (unless maybe you're a naga without a barding), and since she's a naga you just walk away. Every time. This gimmick is already reliably filled with Gastronok (who at least has airstrike) and Roxanne (who can blink you near her). Basically lamia was Jory except with OoD instead of LCS, and slow. She doesn't change tactics other than "oh I guess I can't walk over on that part of the level".

I do agree a Snake unique would be good. But it needs to be a not-slow snake.

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 16:23

Re: Please bring back Lamia

If the problem was just that Lamia was slow, she could, y'know, not be slow. It'd also help her wade through other nagas to get OOD & mesmerise access.
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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 16:32

Re: Please bring back Lamia

She could be guaranteed a barding of running...

e: alternatively, she could have a larger chance of casting mesmerise. I fought her many times before realizing she actually had the spell. This could be her answer to Jory's blink close and Roxanne's blink other close -- having mesmerise alone could distinguish her from Jory.
Last edited by wheals on Thursday, 30th January 2014, 16:41, edited 2 times in total.
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Mines Malingerer

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 16:37

Re: Please bring back Lamia

Just give her a spell slot for blink close or a second haste slot and a slightly raised chance of spawning with Lightning Scales barding.

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 16:42

Re: Please bring back Lamia

Njvack, I agree. I would personally have preferred changing lamia rather than removing. But I'm not a dev, and I'm sure they had good reasons for removing.

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 16:47

Re: Please bring back Lamia

njvack wrote:If the problem was just that Lamia was slow, she could, y'know, not be slow. It'd also help her wade through other nagas to get OOD & mesmerise access.

Well that's a slipper slope because by the same logic all Nagas should be faster.

But uh, Lamia was basically just a greater naga except more boring.

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 16:50

Re: Please bring back Lamia

Not all nagas have OOD and stupidly high damage/defenses that make fighting them an act of extreme stupidity or suicide. You can't easily get the rune by walking away from every tough naga.

And constrict mitigates the problem a bit too when you fight tough ones.

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 17:09

Re: Please bring back Lamia

TheDefiniteArticle wrote:But uh, Lamia was basically just a greater naga except more boring.


So now there are only greater nagas. That's way more boring than having Lamia around. At least I'd welcome more specials even if they are boring/too similar to eachother/weak/whatever. To me they bring up the flawour in the middle of killing goups and groups of similar, basic monsters.
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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 17:13

Re: Please bring back Lamia

Actually there was a bunch of new naga specialists added recently. I haven't tried them yet, though. Ctrl+f "naga":

http://crawl.develz.org/trunk/changes.txt

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 17:30

Re: Please bring back Lamia

Christ, you can't remove anything without tavern complaining about it. Lamia was a slow ass blinkless version of Jory (who is already one of the most boring uniques ever) with pointless nonsensical stuff like corpse eating piled on top. God, you guys probably would have complained about losing Duane too. I see a lot of complaints on here about how Crawl devs "don't listen to the playerbase," well maybe that's because if they did there would be 50000 different monsters and races in the game and they would all do the same thing.
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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 17:47

Re: Please bring back Lamia

duvessa wrote:Christ, you can't remove anything without tavern complaining about it. Lamia was a slow ass blinkless version of Jory (who is already one of the most boring uniques ever) with pointless nonsensical stuff like corpse eating piled on top. God, you guys probably would have complained about losing Duane too. I see a lot of complaints on here about how Crawl devs "don't listen to the playerbase," well maybe that's because if they did there would be 50000 different monsters and races in the game and they would all do the same thing.


Temper, temper, good man, no need to get all acted up. I for one am not of the opinion that a crystal-spearing undead with a vampiric attack is quite the same as a slow serpent with OOD, Poison arrow and teleport self, but your mileage may of course vary. That's perfectly fine. Nonetheless introducing more specialist nagas can not hide the fact that Snake Pit still lacks a branch/theme-specific unique at the moment, won't you agree?
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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 17:55

Re: Please bring back Lamia

As it is, you will pretty much see almost all of the uniques in a sufficiently long game. I'd rather it be more exciting then that given that they are essentially bosses of crawl. The more uniques the better IMO
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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 17:59

Re: Please bring back Lamia

Robotron wrote:That's perfectly fine. Nonetheless introducing more specialist nagas can not hide the fact that Snake Pit still lacks a branch/theme-specific unique at the moment, won't you agree?
I certainly don't agree that branches need their own uniques (in fact I would like to get rid of all three of Arachne, Polyphemus, and the Lernaean Hydra, I find them completely uninteresting). Do you want to add special uniques for Depths, Lair, Orc, Elf, Crypt, Tomb, Temple, Vaults, Blade, and Abyss?
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Mines Malingerer

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 18:02

Re: Please bring back Lamia

As far as lair branches go, i personally would like to see a branch-specific unique in every one of them. Just for flavour (and a vampire in Snake doesn't make that much sense). :)
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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 18:07

Re: Please bring back Lamia

The branch doesn't need an unique if that unique isn't interesting, Lamia's main threat was to OOD, so a big damage spell. Jory's main threat was LCS, so a big damage spell.
The thing is Jory is less terrible because he doesn't come with alich EV ignoring damage by the time you're doing snake and can't be run away from as easily as Lamia.
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Mines Malingerer

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 18:09

Re: Please bring back Lamia

O.k., then how about turning this thread into a brainstoming on about how to bring back a non-boring Lamia?
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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 18:13

Re: Please bring back Lamia

duvessa wrote:I certainly don't agree that branches need their own uniques (in fact I would like to get rid of all three of Arachne, Polyphemus, and the Lernaean Hydra, I find them completely uninteresting). Do you want to add special uniques for Depths, Lair, Orc, Elf, Crypt, Tomb, Temple, Vaults, Blade, and Abyss?


I just don't grasp the logic of uninteresting uniques. For instance in swamp you would just rather have one more 8-headed hydra instead of learnean (since it has to spawn some monster). How would that be more interesting? Or in shoals just a regular cyclops would be more interesting than Polyphemus?
Anyway, there are different opinions on what part of the game you like and dislike.
As I sais earlier, for me uniques give a nice flavour for the game and I'd rather hope to see more of them instead of less.

And there are many players with not-so-much gaming time with crawl and I'll bet to them every new unique they encounter is exiting.
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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 18:17

Re: Please bring back Lamia

Polyphemus is a stone giant with more hps and a pack of death yaks and catos that constantly block his LoF.
Okay he also learned to hit you with his other fist at some point, too.

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 18:23

Re: Please bring back Lamia

All that the Lernaean Hydra does is give autoexplore a chance to instantly kill you on Swamp:5, it is otherwise trivial unless you have no idea what it does.

Yes, I would much rather have a regular stone giant than a monster that is basically a stone giant but called something different so an unspoiled player doesn't know that it's a stone giant. In fact you have shown why this is a problem yourself, since you compared him to a cyclops instead! And I'd much rather have just Aizul in the game, rather than have Aizul and also have a version of Aizul with a different name that only shows up in one branch.
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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 18:37

Re: Please bring back Lamia

I think the hostility from duvessa comes from the fact that he has played the game so many times, that uniques tend to be uninteresting to him in general. Tbh, I really don't think he belongs in this thread since he "doesn't like any uniques."

But, he deserves as much of voice as anyone, so here is what I think: instead of tell people how bad branch specific uniques are, suggest ways to improve them to be more interesting. :)

I think most people who play for as long as you and Dck have would agree with you, but understand that game development applies to everyone, especially new players.
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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 19:10

Re: Please bring back Lamia

duvessa wrote:Yes, I would much rather have a regular stone giant than a monster that is basically a stone giant but called something different so an unspoiled player doesn't know that it's a stone giant.

Perhaps uniques are spoilery but that isn't a big deal. They are interesting to see and deal with after the first time you see them, and give players a sense of accomplishment a normal variant of the unique's base type wouldn't (like a boss fight). Plus anything major should be learnable through xv.

I personally think a unique based on the new mana viper could be cool.

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 19:51

Re: Please bring back Lamia

Robotron wrote:O.k., then how about turning this thread into a brainstoming on about how to bring back a non-boring Lamia?

Alright, how about this. Everything in snake either uses melee or poison. So Lamia will instead use electricity. In fact, forget about simple projectiles, let's give her chain lightning. And she'll be faster than other nagas, so you can't just walk away. And we'll call her Nikola.

Robotron wrote:As far as lair branches go, i personally would like to see a branch-specific unique in every one of them. Just for flavour (and a vampire in Snake doesn't make that much sense). :)

Putting yet another snake in a branch already filled with nothing but snakes makes no sense whatsoever. There are already snakes there!! A vampire in Snake would at least be interesting (except Jory because he's boring anyway). The whole function of uniques is to be unique. If you add a unique of every race and a unique for every branch and a unique version of every monster, you are widely missing the point.

Perhaps uniques are spoilery but that isn't a big deal.

Sure, except "being spoilery" is the only thing Polyphemus does. He's a stone giant disguised as a cyclops, and has no other gimmicks or interesting characteristics whatsoever.

Plus anything major should be learnable through xv.

Unfortunately "should work that way" and "does work that way" are completely different things, and you are asking to die if you make all your decisions about whether to fight something based on xv.

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 20:33

Re: Please bring back Lamia

Sure, except "being spoilery" is the only thing Polyphemus does. He's a stone giant disguised as a cyclops, and has no other gimmicks or interesting characteristics whatsoever

Uh, no. I would call his band of yaks + cato a gimmick. Whether it's interesting or not is more debatable.

Unfortunately "should work that way" and "does work that way" are completely different things, and you are asking to die if you make all your decisions about whether to fight something based on xv.

Oh no, imagine the horror if new players died. I don't think they'd ever want to play again. :roll:

I think xv gives sufficient data about what to expect, especially with spell set info added. It should hardly be the basis for "all of your decisions".

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 20:50

Re: Please bring back Lamia

Tiktacy wrote:I think most people who play for as long as you and Dck have would agree with you, but understand that game development applies to everyone, especially new players.
New players are the entire reason uniques like Lamia and Polyphemus are bad. If you are unspoiled then you don't know even roughly what a monster does until you have fought it at least once, usually many times. So the more monsters in the game, the longer it takes to learn. So when you have a unique that doesn't do anything interesting all you're doing is making the game more spoiler-reliant.
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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 21:44

Re: Please bring back Lamia

What is making Lamia and Polyphemus spoilery is that they have stats which don't match their base type. Lamia's were way off and I think that was the main reason for its removal.
Polyphemus has indeed mostly the stats of a stone giant. Maybe the description could be more precise about the fact that he is faster and stronger than a normal cyclops. Because of course, you can't change the base type without destroying the theme.

By the way, I think duvessa doesn't care about theme ; he plays crawl as if it were an abstract game like Go. This is useful to keep in mind when he is calling for the removal of irrelevant features.
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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 22:25

Re: Please bring back Lamia

How about a snake charmer with convoke and haste/might other.

e: or maybe a kindof "battlecry" that sends snakes berserk

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 23:33

Re: Please bring back Lamia

"Ironbrand convoker, but it's called a snake" doesn't sound like a great unique design to me.

(In fact guardian serpents had recall for about a week, but fortunately someone noticed that was redundant with ironbrand convokers and they were changed.)

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 23:49

Re: Please bring back Lamia

So take an iron brand convoker, name it Lamia, flavor it as a snake/charmer, and throw it in there! Done.

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Post Friday, 31st January 2014, 01:10

Re: Please bring back Lamia

It probably shouldn't be called Lamia since a Snake Charmer might as well be human/some other race that isn't a snake. And having a group of berserk snakes charging you would at least make a bit of a change from the rest of Snake, and probably wouldn't be too similar to vaults because vaults is not full of berserk snakes.

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Post Friday, 31st January 2014, 01:43

Re: Please bring back Lamia

I was joking, sorry if it didn't come across. I do like the snake charmer idea, but agree with duvessa that it shouldn't recall snakes. Berserk seems okay.
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Post Friday, 31st January 2014, 01:47

Re: Please bring back Lamia

I guess she was too lame, y'all.
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Post Friday, 31st January 2014, 02:00

Re: Please bring back Lamia

I think the main problem with her was that there was no way to counter her - she was deadly in melee, deadly in range, and equipment/resistances did not help much. The only way to defeat her was to be really lucky/powerful or to run away and avoid her altogether. So:

Potential Revamped Lamia:

- Make her cast Orb of Destruction more frequently

- Reduce the range on her poison arrow to 3 or 4 tiles (display it as 'Poison Arrow Close Range' in her description)

- Give her a band (without greater naga) - this would make running away/avoiding her more difficult

These changes add some ways to counter her, her only range attack would be Orb of Destruction, which can be dodged or blocked through good positioning. This means that players with access to ranged damage and a means to reliably avoid getting blasted by Orb of Destruction (cBlink, summons, quick movement) would be able to defeat Lamia.

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Post Friday, 31st January 2014, 02:01

Re: Please bring back Lamia

i have killed lamia 13 times and in most of those i took little or no damage

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Post Friday, 31st January 2014, 02:50

Re: Please bring back Lamia

WalkerBoh wrote:I was joking, sorry if it didn't come across. I do like the snake charmer idea, but agree with duvessa that it shouldn't recall snakes. Berserk seems okay.

I'll try and think of some more unique niche for it and make a proper suggestion thread

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Post Friday, 31st January 2014, 03:25

Re: Please bring back Lamia

Rainbow Mamba. A black mamba with a chaos branded attack, mesmerise and maybe some of the spells that chaos champions have.
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Post Friday, 31st January 2014, 06:15

Re: Please bring back Lamia

Grandiloquent Gentleman wrote:Rainbow Mamba. A black mamba with a chaos branded attack, mesmerise and maybe some of the spells that chaos champions have.

Actually, a unique based on the Rainbow Serpent creation myth could be interesting. Something like a giant flying snake with lightning attacks that summons rainclouds, creating water tiles to make its lightning more effective/dangerous.
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Post Friday, 31st January 2014, 07:16

Re: Please bring back Lamia

You just described the sky beasts.
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Post Friday, 31st January 2014, 07:32

Re: Please bring back Lamia

XuaXua wrote:You just described the sky beasts.

Okay, so it's basically a suped-up Sky Beast that doesn't turn invis. Regular Sky Beasts don't shoot lightning and only make clouds on their own tile, rather than all over the screen.

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Post Friday, 31st January 2014, 07:37

Re: Please bring back Lamia

subtra--

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Post Friday, 31st January 2014, 15:19

Re: Please bring back Lamia

!. Poly being a non cyclops is absolutely inane.

2. I think that it is ok for there two be two categories of uniques that can overlap: Raw flavor uniques, such as Poly and the Hydra, that are basically buffed normal enemies with some dialogue, and interesting mechanic uniques, which are more spoilery but work as boss battles (A good example of a unique that does both is Nikola)

As for uniques being too spoilery:

1. Interesting uniques are more spoilery than non interesting ones, and crawl is a game where you start out with imperfect information and gain knowledge over time. Can you look stuff up? Yes. But you can do that with anything. Hell, player ghosts have this issue SO MUCH MORE because you don't gain any knowledge over time, they have a much higher chance of killing you outright, and they have a low baseline of flavor.
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Post Friday, 31st January 2014, 15:34

Re: Please bring back Lamia

galehar wrote:What is making Lamia and Polyphemus spoilery is that they have stats which don't match their base type.

I'm totally confused. What unique has stats that matches its base type? When I see a unique, I think "it's going to be something like ordinary monsters like it but WAY STRONGER."

I mean, Grinder. He's just like a crimson imp except totally different.
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Post Friday, 31st January 2014, 15:46

Re: Please bring back Lamia

Well, polyphemus used to be closer to a cyclops in terms of both damage and speed and then was buffed to be a stone giant but better when someone noticed emphasizing a combat against an enemy as uninteresting as a cyclops wasn't that great an idea.
The problem is that while his speed change is reflected in xv, he's still plainly described as a "cyclops shepherd" when he has around 4x the HPs, twice the accuracy and AC and deals melee damage close to 3x of a normal cyclops.
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Post Friday, 31st January 2014, 15:53

Re: Please bring back Lamia

dck wrote:Well, polyphemus used to be closer to a cyclops in terms of both damage and speed and then was buffed to be a stone giant but better when someone noticed emphasizing a combat against an enemy as uninteresting as a cyclops wasn't that great an idea.
The problem is that while his speed change is reflected in xv, he's still plainly described as a "cyclops shepherd" when he has around 4x the HPs, twice the accuracy and AC and deals melee damage close to 3x of a normal cyclops.

Still baffled. Grinder is described as a shadow imp but has 4x the hit points, a much stronger (and pain-branded) attack and can blink and paralyze you.

Uniques are, y'know, unique.
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Post Friday, 31st January 2014, 16:04

Re: Please bring back Lamia

By the time Grinder shows up it's unlikely the kind of player who can have problems with this spoilery stuff even knows what a shadow imp is, not to mention xv shows his spells. By the time poly shows up he's likely killed a lot of cyclopes.
I can understand keeping him in the game and I can understand keeping him a cyclops for theme and whatnot, but I think new players should have a warning of some kind that this guy can hit them much more accurately and hard than a normal cyclops.
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