Summoners (again)


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Shoals Surfer

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Post Sunday, 30th March 2014, 03:38

Summoners (again)

So my previous thread on this topic from last year turned into a clusterfuck. Despite that, I've been fooling around with Summoners again and would like general advice on getting them to succeed. I'm mostly focusing on Tengu as my race so far, but I'm considering Spriggan the next time I splat.

So, without attacking one another for a difference of opinion, would anyone care to suggest some tactics and strategies for surviving the early game as a summoner? I've been focusing on dodge, stealth, spellcasting and summoning skills while looking for a polearm weapon to attack over my minions. Getting the new level 4 spells online has been a big pain because of their split school (and not even the same school). Also, spell hunger is a constant aggravation.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Sunday, 30th March 2014, 03:58

Re: Summoners (again)

cast summon spells, especially call canine familiar
don't play races with bad hp

polearms don't do much, personally I don't even like them for summoners, but that is probably just me

Shoals Surfer

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Post Sunday, 30th March 2014, 04:08

Re: Summoners (again)

So you go with adjacent range melee weapons? Or do you prefer missiles?
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Blades Runner

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Post Sunday, 30th March 2014, 04:09

Re: Summoners (again)

crate wrote:cast summon spells, especially call canine familiar
don't play races with bad hp

polearms don't do much, personally I don't even like them for summoners, but that is probably just me

You can attack enemies through your allies with polearms, is that not good?

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Post Sunday, 30th March 2014, 04:10

Re: Summoners (again)

Hopeless wrote:
crate wrote:cast summon spells, especially call canine familiar
don't play races with bad hp

polearms don't do much, personally I don't even like them for summoners, but that is probably just me

You can attack enemies through your allies with polearms, is that not good?
Yes.
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Post Sunday, 30th March 2014, 04:14

Re: Summoners (again)

skjarl wrote:So you go with adjacent range melee weapons? Or do you prefer missiles?

I use normal melee weapons, though polearms are great too. If I attack the foe (when it's reasonably safe), he will attack me, and my 3 rats can do some damage instead of just getting splatted, which does wonders for spell hunger, MP, not letting more guys join in, etc.

DrSu would probably be a good one to try.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Sunday, 30th March 2014, 04:37

Re: Summoners (again)

So yes in theory you can attack through summons with polearms. I find that in practice this doesn't do much, since most of the time "you can't reach far enough".

Alternatively if your character is good at melee, you often want to be adjacent to the enemy you're attacking, so that you take damage instead of your summons (depending on what summons you're using and how strong you are). I generally use non-polearm weapons with my summoners.

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Shoals Surfer

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Post Sunday, 30th March 2014, 04:43

Re: Summoners (again)

It simply seems that you're diversifying your skill training too early. Try to get all your starting book spells online before training other skills and see what happens. It may also be a good idea to only train summoning to get your lv4 spells online and not the secondary schools depending on your race's aptitudes.

For a weapon, I also love polearms on summoners (and in general), but until you can diversify your skills, take whatever has high +hit and a strong brand, for example a short sword of electrocution is an excellent weapon with 0 weapon/fighting skill.

As for spell hunger, only get as much spellcasting as you need, and bite the bullet like everyone else and eat 10-20 chunks per floor, or if out of chunks, permafood. It's annoying, but food has almost no bearing at all on the game once you get used to it (for example, i have a guy in zot with fast metabolism and 17 spellcasting using level 8 spells).

Blades Runner

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Post Sunday, 30th March 2014, 06:50

Re: Summoners (again)

If you don't diversify early with a summoner, do you just let summons kill everything and eat the 50% XP hit? How much of a difference does that make?
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Cocytus Succeeder

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Post Sunday, 30th March 2014, 07:16

Re: Summoners (again)

Isn't it a good idea to start with another background? What seems best is Ice elementalist, who has Summon ice beasts in the starting spellbook. Or wizard with imps.

Swamp Slogger

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Post Sunday, 30th March 2014, 09:07

Re: Summoners (again)

I played a few summoners on the branch were the changes were tested, so here's what I learned from that.

The new book of Callings is very, very good. I find in general if you just focus on summoning you'll get to Lair quite reliably since with higher spellpower call canine familiar will get you a wolf and later a warg which for a few levels will mostly kill everything for you. Then Lightning spire is incredibly powerful. With a bit of practice you can kill hill giants with it, empty whole rooms of bees and so on.

This has the effect that once you get all that you're pretty much free to train whatever you like for a while.

Also skip imps to get canine familiar a little bit earlier. Then get lightning spire. Then whatever.

Later on - IF you want to continue to focus on summoning - the spell you'll hope for is Monstrous Menagerie. It can get you a harpy pack, a manticore, lindwurm or at higher spellpower a sphinx. Free confusion, paralyze and smite from a level 6 spell - hell yeah :lol:

But you can just stop focussing on summoning and get your melee up, or whatever you want really. 10 levels in summoning are never really a waste.

As for race. I enjoy KoSu and DsSu mostly, but Tengu should work fine. Crazy EV is never a bad idea ;)
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Blades Runner

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Post Sunday, 30th March 2014, 10:48

Re: Summoners (again)

Just tried a summoner for kicks. Call Canine Familiar now only gives you one summon. Call Small Mammal limits you to 4 but for some reason Summon Ice Beast gives you 3. Sadly, none of the spells available help against invisible monsters because the summons can't see them. At all. Not even to guess where they might be in a hallway when I am on their other side. (Dumb AI is dumb.) Scratch +1 character.

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Post Sunday, 30th March 2014, 13:10

Re: Summoners (again)

CCF (hounds, wolves, wargs) all can sense invisible.
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Blades Runner

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Post Sunday, 30th March 2014, 13:42

Re: Summoners (again)

DracheReborn wrote:CCF (hounds, wolves, wargs) all can sense invisible.

From what I've seen 99% of all hostile monsters can see invisible. However, the evidence is that the summons do not. Because if they did they wouldn't have stood there and taken beating after beating without retaliation.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Sunday, 30th March 2014, 14:39

Re: Summoners (again)

Summons have weird behaviour toward enemies in general (this was especially true before .14). In .13 and before, summons when created will never have a target, and will not acquire one unless 1) an enemy attacks the player 2) an enemy attacks that particular summon 3) you tell them to do so with tw or ta
I suspect invisiblilty interferes with 1)
In .14 summons do start off with a target if one is in los, but I have no idea how monster invis interacts with this.

If you tw your canines they will attack invisible things.

It is also quite possible and not terribly difficult to get summons which do not see invisible to attack invisible monsters. Get the summon on one side of the monster, with the player on the other side:
  Code:
@xD

The @ is you, the x is the invisible monster, the D is e.g. a summoned hydra. Then use tf. The summon will try to move into the space occupied by the invisible monster and thus attack it.

Isn't it a good idea to start with another background?

not if you want to play summoner...

If you don't diversify early with a summoner, do you just let summons kill everything and eat the 50% XP hit? How much of a difference does that make?

yes; basically none
also since half of 1 is 1 in crawl, 50% xp barely matters at all on d:1 (which is probably the place where it would otherwise be the most important)

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Blades Runner

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Post Sunday, 30th March 2014, 15:00

Re: Summoners (again)

crate wrote:Summons have weird behaviour toward enemies in general (this was especially true before .14). In .13 and before, summons when created will never have a target, and will not acquire one unless 1) an enemy attacks the player 2) an enemy attacks that particular summon 3) you tell them to do so with tw or ta
I suspect invisiblilty interferes with 1)
In .14 summons do start off with a target if one is in los, but I have no idea how monster invis interacts with this.

If you tw your canines they will attack invisible things.

It is also quite possible and not terribly difficult to get summons which do not see invisible to attack invisible monsters. Get the summon on one side of the monster, with the player on the other side:
  Code:
@xD

The @ is you, the x is the invisible monster, the D is e.g. a summoned hydra. Then use tf. The summon will try to move into the space occupied by the invisible monster and thus attack it.

Isn't it a good idea to start with another background?

not if you want to play summoner...

If you don't diversify early with a summoner, do you just let summons kill everything and eat the 50% XP hit? How much of a difference does that make?

yes; basically none
also since half of 1 is 1 in crawl, 50% xp barely matters at all on d:1 (which is probably the place where it would otherwise be the most important)


As per usual really solid advice, crate. Thanks.

Shoals Surfer

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Post Sunday, 30th March 2014, 19:20

Re: Summoners (again)

Shadow imps can see invisible as well.

So why is CCF limited to just one summon? Wouldn't it make more sense for all these spells to have a base amount of summons/duration that scales with spell power? The current limits seem arbitrary and inconsistent to me.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Sunday, 30th March 2014, 19:43

Re: Summoners (again)

CCF is limited to 1 summon for two reasons:
1) it is really very powerful per-summon for its level (especially since it's single-school)
2) to make it feel different from other summon spells

Mines Malingerer

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Post Sunday, 30th March 2014, 20:41

Re: Summoners (again)

3) No more risk of summoning frigging jackals for 3 MP a pop.

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Barkeep

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Post Monday, 31st March 2014, 12:36

Re: Summoners (again)

crate wrote:So yes in theory you can attack through summons with polearms. I find that in practice this doesn't do much, since most of the time "you can't reach far enough".


At least in earlier versions (not sure with 0.14's summoning AI changes), even failing to strike an enemy would make your allies target that creature. This can help cut down on the noise that's required when you direct your allies with ta or tw. This was at least gammafunk's rationale when playing HEIE speedruns, so blame him if I'm wrong.

Of course, now that summons are more reliable about selecting and attacking targets without direction, this isn't as helpful even if it still works nicely.

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Post Tuesday, 1st April 2014, 17:24

Re: Summoners (again)

Summons also attack creatures if you attack them (This includes ranged attacks)
Polearms "can't reach far enough" exactly 50% of the time when reaching past a freindly.

The addition to the "sandwich" tactic described by crate, some other effective tactics for using summons are things like this:

  Code:
# #
#x#
S@S

(x is monster, S are summons @ is you)
Attacking X from this position gets you attacks from both your summons.

  Code:
####
  x @
 SSS

Drawing a monster towards you past one or more of your summons lets them get "free" attacks, polearms are helpful for setting this up.

  Code:
###
xS@
###

You'd think this would be good, but summons generally aren't good tanks (with a couple exceptions in certain circumstances, learn what those are, by the way, ice beasts are poison-immune, and cold damage slows snakes for example) So it's uncommon that this actually a productive situation, even if you do have a polearm, usually you're better off with this:
  Code:
###
 xS
##@

or even this:
  Code:
##S
 xS
##@

This allows both you and your summon(s) to attack x at the same time, while you tank.

Use position switching liberally, it's an excellent escape tactic and can reliably put a SPAAACE between you and a nasty melee critter.

The most important thing about being a summoner is "be able to kill stuff without your summons" treat them like extra melee damage, train your character like a melee character with some spell support, playing fragile races means that much more exp needs to go into defenses. One of my favorite summoner races is Dr (because of the free ranged attack and the bonus AC without spellcasting penalty) but there's lots of good races.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 1st April 2014, 17:28

Re: Summoners (again)

Oh I forgot to add:
  Code:
xS
 @

When you start like that, sometimes when you move like this:
  Code:
xS@


the monster will follow you, rather than attacking your summon:
  Code:
 S@
 x

If that happens your summon just gets to attack for free, however it's risky, because the critter might just kill your summon instead.
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Shoals Surfer

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Post Tuesday, 1st April 2014, 18:19

Re: Summoners (again)

Siegurt wrote:The most important thing about being a summoner is "be able to kill stuff without your summons" treat them like extra melee damage, train your character like a melee character with some spell support, playing fragile races means that much more exp needs to go into defenses. One of my favorite summoner races is Dr (because of the free ranged attack and the bonus AC without spellcasting penalty) but there's lots of good races.


Others have said the same thing in my last thread. If the character is meant to be played as a hybrid, perhaps they should be moved to the Warrior-Mage category instead of Mage. Same thing for Necromancers.
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Barkeep

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Post Tuesday, 1st April 2014, 19:22

Re: Summoners (again)

Here's the actual difference between warrior-mage and mage:

Warrior mages start with a book, some magic skill, a weapon, and some weapon skill (or some UC skill in case of transmuters).
Mages start with a book, magic skill, but no weapon, nor any weapon skill. To compensate Mages start with more skill in magic stuff.

That's really it. These designations aren't really about how you play the character, they are very much about how they start off, and I think it is a lot better that Crawl takes a "descriptive" approach with these sorts of things rather than pretending that there's a set way you have to play a background and that it is the dev's role to tell people what that way is. There are good ways to play different backgrounds and really all a background does is set some of your immediate priorities for the very early game (although strong drops or early altar to certain gods can easily open up, and even push you, in other directions).

Everyone should be comfortable hitting stuff in melee, because otherwise you are going to waste a bunch of extra turns pillar dancing and regenerating MP and running from stuff that isn't threatening but resists your spells and doing other unfun stuff. If you want to win you should get absolutely every character to a point where it is resilient enough to take a few hits (because shit happens and fast enemies exist) so you might as well not be terrible at melee for situations in which hitting stuff does indeed make sense, especially since, given how experience works in DCSS, branching out is very doable and even encouraged once you get past Lair/Orc/D15. (You can do it earlier of course but doing it without making your character too weak early on takes more familiarity with game and knowing limitations with various amounts of AC/EV/HP, so it is a bit trickier.)

Now in the particular case of Summoners and Necromancers, you want to get into melee because minions are much stronger if you help them out, and much weaker if you don't, and stuff like the experience penalty and summoning caps just further drive home this point and encourage you to actually take part in the aspects of game play that 95% of players actually find fun, rather than summoning a bunch of stuff outside of combat, finding a dude for you allies to beat up, hitting ta and mashing . or s.

Disclaimer: I haven't played around with new book of callings yet, but it looks like it will be a lot of fun and add some much needed variety to summoners, whose toolbox used to consist very blandly of 5 otherwise almost identical hammers of escalating sizes, so I look forward to rolling a summoner soon.

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Shoals Surfer

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Post Tuesday, 1st April 2014, 20:34

Re: Summoners (again)

Yeah, I know all of this now. But as a newbie, I struggled for a long time trying to play mages as classical mages from fantasy and other RPGs. The designation is misleading to people that don't know the game well. Summoners are particularly weak in the early game, especially with the recent round of nerfs, and that compounds the trouble. Forcing casters (no/light armor is required for a lot of the first-mid game) to fight in melee range makes this a challenge class to me. I see it the same way many folks see Chei worship.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 1st April 2014, 20:46

Re: Summoners (again)

Summoners are particularly weak in the early game, especially with the recent round of nerfs

no, particularly not with ccf
for some races xl:1 is tough as a summoner, but then that's true for every background in the game

you can still be a "pure summoner" just fine if you want to, and there are even some spells that are basically tailored to that purpose (summon greater demon is the most notable imo, guardian golem is a recent addition that works in that direction)
I don't recommend doing so since I think it is a bit dangerous and also not as much fun, but it's still quite doable.

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Shoals Surfer

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Post Tuesday, 1st April 2014, 20:48

Re: Summoners (again)

I'm sorry, crate, but that has not been my experience. It's a waste of time to argue opinions, so we'll have to agree to disagree.
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Shoals Surfer

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Post Tuesday, 1st April 2014, 21:40

Re: Summoners (again)

skjarl wrote:I'm sorry, crate, but that has not been my experience.

If you're finding early game hard as a summoner, you're probably doing something wrong that's making things harder than they need to be. For example, I used to find Transmuters much harder because I was training my skills inefficiently (not focusing pure UC until I learned Spider Form, trying to get Spider/Ice Form castable by only training Transmutations, rushing to get Blade Hands asap, etc).

skjarl wrote:It's a waste of time to argue opinions, so we'll have to agree to disagree.

This is false, by the way. Not all opinions are actually valid.

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Shoals Surfer

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Post Tuesday, 1st April 2014, 21:52

Re: Summoners (again)

Viashino_wizard wrote:
skjarl wrote:I'm sorry, crate, but that has not been my experience.

If you're finding early game hard as a summoner, you're probably doing something wrong that's making things harder than they need to be. For example, I used to find Transmuters much harder because I was training my skills inefficiently (not focusing pure UC until I learned Spider Form, trying to get Spider/Ice Form castable by only training Transmutations, rushing to get Blade Hands asap, etc).

skjarl wrote:It's a waste of time to argue opinions, so we'll have to agree to disagree.

This is false, by the way. Not all opinions are actually valid.


This is pretty much the reply I was expecting. I'm not disappointed. Every opinion is valid to the person saying it. It may be based on incorrect information, but to the person saying it, they are correct. It is nearly impossible to change their mind even when you point out why they are wrong. I'm not interested in wasting my life fighting through their cognitive dissonance and biases to bring them around to my point of view. That makes it a waste of my time. Do you understand now?
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Post Tuesday, 1st April 2014, 21:56

Re: Summoners (again)

There is a subtle, but important difference between these two statements: "Summoners are weak in early game" and "I find summoners to be weak in early game". Can you find it?

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Post Tuesday, 1st April 2014, 21:58

Re: Summoners (again)

I think so. It's related to this, right?

pe•dan•tic (pə-dănˈtĭk)
adj. Characterized by a narrow, often ostentatious concern for book learning and formal rules: a pedantic attention to details.
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Post Tuesday, 1st April 2014, 22:03

Re: Summoners (again)

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Post Tuesday, 1st April 2014, 22:08

Re: Summoners (again)

That's an extremely pessimistic view to take, and not a particularly reasonable one, if you yourself have ever changed your mind about something and been grateful for those who presented a once opposing view with which you now identify.

Of course people are seldom convinced simply by purely abstract arguments. But if you convince someone to try a new approach to something and they find their experience of it conforms with what you said, they often change their minds. In other words, people do change their minds, it is just very rare for that to happen due to any single argument that they "won" or "lost," because people aren't robots and their ideas are bound up (to varying degrees, but to some degree necessarily) with their egos and their sense of identity and purpose. So changes happen more slowly and don't usually hinge on being told or not being told a very specific set of things. And yet, nevertheless, if no one ever argued about anything there would be far, far fewer instances of people changing their minds. [/discourse on argumentation and human nature; just trying to take some heat off Sar by making sure he isn't the most pedantic poster itt :) ]

I haven't played new summoner, but if it is anything like old summoner I'd focus on training only summoning until character level three, then I would memorize call canine familiar and get it reliable (if not already). Then I would train dodging. Once I have ~18 EV I'd pick up *one* of the level 4 spells (pick your fav) and get it reliable, then train some more dodging and, if a good weapon has dropped, might dump a little bit of experience in that and some in fighting. Then either continue with summoning or some other kind of magic if other books have dropped, or I'd focus more on bulking up, depending on what had dropped and how I felt like developing the character.
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Post Tuesday, 1st April 2014, 22:17

Re: Summoners (again)

Viashino_wizard wrote:This is false, by the way. Not all opinions are actually valid.

You may think so, but I find your opinion on this subject invalid. :p (opinions by their very nature can't be valid or invalid because they are subjective. Just because an opinion may be informed by fact does not mean that it is indeed fact. :) The same goes in the reverse. Just because a person expresses facts with "I think" doesn't not make them less valid. I should clarify that "I think this is true" is different from "I think this sucks (or rocks, or whatever)."

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Post Tuesday, 1st April 2014, 22:31

Re: Summoners (again)

I learned long ago never to use myself as a yardstick for expected human behavior. Most people are far less willing to learn or change than I am and my current attitude on the matter reflects my 40 years of experience with other human beings. The problem is compounded on the Internet where there isn't even a way to ensure folks stay civil (i.e. I can't punch someone in the dick over TCP/IP). People are what they are and I am simply not willing to burn many cycles trying to get them to change their stance on a video game. It's a different matter for things I consider important like civil rights, justice, and morality. I can and do take complete strangers to task when I see them acting like shitty human beings. I even do this on the Internet occasionally despite knowing it's a catastrophic waste of my time. I'm a staunch realist, but sometimes I suspect may be a closet optimist. :/ Change happens, as you say, over time for most folks.

As for your advice on the summoner, it sounds reasonable and I've followed that template a couple of times already. Summoning is hard. Expecting a squishy to melee makes it hard, especially against high damage opponents that 1-shot all of your minions. Generally if they can 1-shot an ice beast, they can 1-shot you. Every round of combat has the possibility of sudden death. Anyway, I'm not going to whine about it here. Like I said, I consider this a challenge class and that's my expectation when I play it. I'd like to see better starting gear on them, though, perhaps a dagger and leather.

On a side note, do any of you feel like there has been a push in recent versions toward providing fewer choices on how the game is played? The rune lock is a good example. The unending debate about the path of character development is another example (primary damage first, defense second, utility third). Always do dungeon->lair->orc->rune branch->etc.
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Post Tuesday, 1st April 2014, 22:48

Re: Summoners (again)

If your problem is being squishy, you should maybe try picking a race that has good HP and/or training defensive skills, not blaming a spell school?
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Post Tuesday, 1st April 2014, 22:50

Re: Summoners (again)

Sar wrote:If your problem is being squishy, you should maybe try picking a race that has good HP and/or training defensive skills, not blaming a spell school?

Sounds to me like he was blaming the background being squishy not the spell book it starts with.

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Post Tuesday, 1st April 2014, 22:54

Re: Summoners (again)

Background hardly influences character squishiness; race and skills do, though. IIRC DE and Te have the best Su apts, and those are pretty squishy; but you can roll a HuSu and probably have decent HP, Hill Orcs have good Su apt too if my memory doesn't fail me, and it's somewhat hard to build a HOrc that is "squishy".

Edit 2: removed dumb joke.
Last edited by Sar on Tuesday, 1st April 2014, 23:03, edited 1 time in total.

Shoals Surfer

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Post Tuesday, 1st April 2014, 22:58

Re: Summoners (again)

That's not true, Sar. There is a huge different between a Deep Elf Fighter and a Deep Elf Wizard in terms of starting squishitude. Yes, race determines more about how your character is going to develop than anything else, but acting like starting gear is irrelevant is silly. You know that.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 1st April 2014, 23:00

Re: Summoners (again)

there is a reason that in my very first post in this topic i specifically advised you not to play races with bad hp

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Post Tuesday, 1st April 2014, 23:03

Re: Summoners (again)

I don't know about Fighters because I don't really understand what shields do in the early game (they're supposedly very nice!), but I believe that HuSu will be much less squishy than DEFi at pretty much any point in the game, not even talking about something like HOSu. Good HP aptitude + fast level gain + decent defensive apts = good character.

Also, this is my last Su win: http://crawl.lantea.net/crawl/morgue/Sar/morgue-Sar-20131021-193424.txt, not very squishy, right?
Spoiler: show
Okay, that was a joke, that Su didn't summon much, I played him for Nemelex Combo.

Shoals Surfer

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Post Tuesday, 1st April 2014, 23:11

Re: Summoners (again)

@Crate: yes, but those proficiencies!!!!!!!!!! I NEED MOAR SUMMON POWARZ!!!!!
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Halls Hopper

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Post Tuesday, 1st April 2014, 23:18

Re: Summoners (again)

skjarl wrote:@Crate: yes, but those proficiencies!!!!!!!!!! I NEED MOAR SUMMON POWARZ!!!!!


You can kill an orc warrior with Summon Imp and basically no spellpower, so long as you have 8-10 mp.

Slime Squisher

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Post Tuesday, 1st April 2014, 23:23

Re: Summoners (again)

Tengu at least is probably a much better Summoner now that you can rush to get Lightning Spire and then nuke all the dudes.

But yeah, the main concern to Summoner is things that can hit you through your summons (orc priests early, enemies with bolt spells or penetrating ammo later), and having HP is the way to counter this problem.

Crypt Cleanser

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Post Wednesday, 2nd April 2014, 04:21

Re: Summoners (again)

Summoner is actually so OP that when i first started playing crawl, some Japanese players I knew used to classify games as "summoner runs" and "non-summoner runs."
mikee_ has won 166 times in 396 games (41.92%): 4xDSFi 4xMDFi 3xDDCK 3xDDEE 3xHOPr 2xDDHe 2xDDNe 2xDSBe 2xKeAE 2xMfCr 2xMfSt 2xMiAr 2xMiBe 2xNaTm 1xCeAr 1xCeAs 1xCeBe 1xCeEn 1xCeFE 1xCePa 1xCeTm 1xCeWz 1xDDAs 1xDDCr 1xDDHu 1xDDTm 1xDENe 1xDEWz

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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Wednesday, 2nd April 2014, 07:45

Re: Summoners (again)

GrSu rocks!
DCSS: 77: ...SpWz{OgGlTrMo}{CeWnMfBeMiSk}DrEE{GrFiFoGl}DgEnFeNe{OpGlHuSu}DDAr
HaCKSpAEGrTmDgFEDsCjGhMoHuVM{HaAMBaEn}{HuMoHOWn}DsWzDDHu{DgWnGnBe}FeIE
{MiEnMfCj}SpNeBaEEGrFE{HaAKTrCK}DsFESpHu{FoArNaBe}FeEE{HOIEMiAE}GrGlHuWrGnWr
Bloat: 4: RaRoPrPh{GuStGnCa

Shoals Surfer

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Post Thursday, 3rd April 2014, 01:38

Re: Summoners (again)

Crawl makes life easy, it took some time but every species/background except a select few will do well when using tab and o.
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Post Tuesday, 8th April 2014, 15:42

Re: Summoners (again)

skjarl wrote:On a side note, do any of you feel like there has been a push in recent versions toward providing fewer choices on how the game is played? The rune lock is a good example. The unending debate about the path of character development is another example (primary damage first, defense second, utility third). Always do dungeon->lair->orc->rune branch->etc.


There is a difference between "number of choices" and "number of decisions" in a game. Before the rune lock it was "possible" to get one of the lair runes before going deeper in the dungeon but those branches were difficult enough that it was usually very unwise to do so (for example, much harder uniques could spawn down there and their lower levels were far more similar to the deeper dungeon than lair/orc in terms of challenge) so, while you technically had a "choice" (continue in the dungeon or get a lair rune) it was never really a "decision" (excepting specific conducts or self-imposed challenge runs, it was always a no-brainer to continue in the dungeon instead of getting a lair rune). Now, you have to make a meaningful decision as a player (which rune am I better equipped to get at this point in the game?) before entering the Depths and super-saturating your character with experience that makes the earlier runes almost trivial.

(This paragraph is speculation and I do not have access to facts to back it up) In addition, many newer players would likely explore the sub branches of the lair as they discovered them because they wouldn't "know" that its far better to complete D:27 before going up and doing the Lair branches they discovered four hours ago. The fact that the lower levels of those branches were tuned for much more experienced characters is somewhat silly in this case and could lead to many unnecessary deaths because Boris is pretty hard at XL:15.

You are actually more likely to have different experiences on each playthrough with the rune lock than beforehand because it does change the "optimal" path for a character each game since the Lair branches rotate and each desires slightly different gear or resists or caters to melee / ranged differently, etc etc and so you have to make an intelligent decision based on the character you are playing when it comes time to get your first rune.

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Post Tuesday, 8th April 2014, 20:53

Re: Summoners (again)

archaeo wrote:
crate wrote:So yes in theory you can attack through summons with polearms. I find that in practice this doesn't do much, since most of the time "you can't reach far enough".


...This was at least gammafunk's rationale when playing HEIE speedruns, so blame him if I'm wrong.


To be clear I only use polearms as a preference in the early game to add a modest amount of damage on top of what my summons are doing while preventing myself from taking damage, but that's simply because I'm speedrunning and have to avoid resting. For the noise issue, polearms can help redirect your summons to another target without creating noise, but using darts/stones to draw off one enemy in LOS when the rest of a pack is out of LOS is the more important tactic. This is particularly the case for pack monsters like slime creatures that don't make noise when they wake up. I don't train any weapon skill, however, and usually stop using my trident to any significant degree not long after I enter my first branch at 6-10k turns or so.

I think a summoner in a normal game of crawl doesn't get much advantage from using a polearm and that shouldn't dictate your weapon choice. It's at best a perk, and you can always carry around a trident/halbred as a secondary weapon for a few levels when you find one.

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