Ice midgame.


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Post Monday, 2nd January 2017, 16:18

Ice midgame.

Disclaimer: IE is a strong start. Not even remotely arguing against that.

Ice magic feels rather poorly paced, exp inefficent, and honestly weak in the mid to late game slope of DCSS when compared to the other single school starts. With silmacralium as the sole exception (because necro is thilly) the entire ice school is just horribly inefficent in the gap between SiB and Glaciate , so much so that ice invest past 1% freeze has less utility than high poison invest in a 3 rune game.

Bolt of cold, basicly a level 5 bolt. Merfolk prefer it but that's about it since iron shot/Bolt of fire and the actual level 5 bolts exist.

Freezing cloud: There is no reason to ever learn this, it's a level 6 tripple school spell that has the same effect as level 2 and 3 spells. It does have the niche of conveniently killing low Ac non Rc+ things as a smite but it overlaps with LRD there and is still hilariously outclassed even on merfolk.

Metabolic Englaciation: Pseudo haste in snake if a large number of enemies are in line of sight aka "if you're about to die really hard" by far the worst hex option vs draco packs.

Ozo's fridge: Would be strong if it didn't have one of the worst drawbacks imagineable.

As a school and a start ice is still perfectly funcional you can roleplay or glaciate the win no worries without transitioning out of a reasonably focused spellset, pacing just feels really awkward "supoptimal" and somewhat spoilery. Posted in CYC since this is probably an unpopular opinion.

Edit: Not saying "remove" anything would just like to see mild tweaks to the schools midgame.
Last edited by NhorianScum on Monday, 2nd January 2017, 16:37, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Monday, 2nd January 2017, 16:28

Re: Ice midgame.

What do you suggest?
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Post Monday, 2nd January 2017, 16:35

Re: Ice midgame.

NhorianScum wrote:Freezing cloud: There is no reason to ever learn this,

This suggests to me that you're not using it properly. Freezing Cloud can pretty much win a large part of the 3-rune game by itself. I learn Freezing Cloud (or poisonous cloud/ignite poison) on virtually all my casters who find it. You need to keep the monsters in the cloud somehow (standing next to them and meleeing them is the default option, but there are other ways). It also keeps a lot of monsters at bay because they will not wade through the cloud.

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Post Monday, 2nd January 2017, 16:43

Re: Ice midgame.

bel wrote:
NhorianScum wrote:Freezing cloud: There is no reason to ever learn this,

This suggests to me that you're not using it properly. Freezing Cloud can pretty much win a large part of the 3-rune game by itself. I learn Freezing Cloud (or poisonous cloud/ignite poison) on virtually all my casters who find it. You need to keep the monsters in the cloud somehow (standing next to them and meleeing them is the default option, but there are other ways). It also keeps a lot of monsters at bay because they will not wade through the cloud.


Yes monsters standing outside of clouds take no damage from them, thanks for that high level knowledge. Fcloud is significantly worse at this than the level 3 fire spells and corpse rot since by the time you learn the level 6 3 school spell and find a place where it's more mp efficent you just evoke/read.

It's not bad, it's just never worth the spellslots, mp per cast, or exp.

@ dynast, I'd like to see BoC become comperable to bolt of fire, a slight buff to ozo's and metabolic, Fcloud moved to a place where it becomes an optimal skilling choice in a significant but not overwhelming number of games, and some "breathless" L7 spell just for the silence interaction and the "equal but opposite" to fire flavor.

Again this is mostly a quality of life/smoothness of skilling/flavor thing. My prefered fix would wind up as an overall buff to an already strong start so at this point I'm fishing for ideas and seeing if the ice midgame bothers enough players to even be worth fixing.

Edit: Seeing the bread and butter bolt spell in more than one fixedart book would also be nice. I'm also all for more incomperables since Ice has nothing on that front. That's more of a general issue with magic and god overflow though and is a topic for another day.
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Post Monday, 2nd January 2017, 19:04

Re: Ice midgame.

NhorianScum wrote:Yes monsters standing outside of clouds take no damage from them, thanks for that high level knowledge. Fcloud is significantly worse at this than the level 3 fire spells and corpse rot since by the time you learn the level 6 3 school spell and find a place where it's more mp efficent you just evoke/read.

[...]

@ dynast, I'd like to see BoC become comperable to bolt of fire, a slight buff to ozo's and metabolic, Fcloud moved to a place where it becomes an optimal skilling choice in a significant but not overwhelming number of games, and some "breathless" L7 spell just for the silence interaction and the "equal but opposite" to fire flavor.

You don't need to be sarcastic to get your point across. It only makes you look bad.

Moving on, Metabolic Englaciation is already really good. Ozocubu could use a buff but if it did they'd just nerf it again. I kind of wish 3-school spells were reserved for level 3 but it is what it is, it makes it really difficult to work with.

I'm not sure how popular this is, but I think Throw Icicle and Summon Ice Beast are both good enough to carry an IE to their next book pretty consistently, but that isn't the point. I think Freezing Cloud getting a slight power buff would be great since Poison Cloud became level 5, and was already pretty dangerous.
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Post Monday, 2nd January 2017, 21:02

Re: Ice midgame.

NhorianScum wrote:Fcloud is significantly worse at this than the level 3 fire spells and corpse rot since by the time you learn the level 6 3 school spell and find a place where it's more mp efficent you just evoke/read.

It's not bad, it's just never worth the spellslots, mp per cast, or exp.

It's not clear what is meant by "mp efficient". Many reasonable applications are mp efficient.

Here's a typical scenario. You see a pack of monsters (deep troll pack, elf pack, yaktaur pack, ugly things, draconian packs, slime creatures, whatever) at the edge of your LOS. So you drop a cloud on them. They move towards you; you drop another cloud between them and you. So they'll trudge through maybe 5 clouds before they reach you, plus some turns standing adjacent to you or casting spells or shooting arrows. Let's say there are 4 monsters in the pack. Let's say each of them takes 5 turns worth of cloud damage. So total avg. damage is roughly 4 x 5 x (13 - AC/2) = 260 - 10 AC. Take AC = 6 (very ugly thing) as typical; that gives 200 damage. Total MP cost: 12.

For comparison, a moderate power (75) bolt of fire/cold does 6d11 damage, so 33 - AC/2 avg. Let's say it hits 2 monsters per cast, so double the damage. So, 60 damage for 6 MP.

I hope my calculations are correct; if not, they should be in the right ballpark.

Try doing the same kind of damage with conjure flame, sticky flame or corpse rot. Conjure flame has short range, creates only one cloud and can't be cast on monsters. Sticky flame can only be used on one adjacent monster. Corpse rot requires a corpse and a bunch of strategically placed corpses at the end of your LOS are usually not available. They are all good spells, but they're not in the same league as Freezing Cloud.

Yes, level 6 triple school is expensive, but it's not underpowered for its level. With some sunk costs already in conjuration/ice, together with Vehumet/ring of wizardry or Sif's miscast protection, it's not that hard to cast.

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Post Monday, 2nd January 2017, 21:15

Re: Ice midgame.

NhorianScum wrote:I'd like to see BoC become comperable to bolt of fire

isn't bolt of cold exactly the same as bolt of fire, except with 1 less range and checking a different resistance

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Post Monday, 2nd January 2017, 21:40

Re: Ice midgame.

bel wrote:Try doing the same kind of damage with conjure flame, sticky flame or corpse rot. Conjure flame has short range, creates only one cloud and can't be cast on monsters. Sticky flame can only be used on one adjacent monster. Corpse rot requires a corpse and a bunch of strategically placed corpses at the end of your LOS are usually not available. They are all good spells, but they're not in the same league as Freezing Cloud.


Inner Flame is a level 3 spell that also makes 3x3 clouds of pain at range. It does have the drawback of requiring another spell to set it off, but this is offset by the blast damage it inflicts and how much easier it is to cast.

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Post Monday, 2nd January 2017, 22:09

Re: Ice midgame.

CanOfWorms wrote:
NhorianScum wrote:I'd like to see BoC become comperable to bolt of fire

isn't bolt of cold exactly the same as bolt of fire, except with 1 less range and checking a different resistance


Yes. Except it's cold. Thus the joke about it functioning as a level 5 bolt in a 3 rune game.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

@bel: Yes clouds do very good damage, the problem here is that a suite of lower level spells will kill that group with less Mp, auts, and exp invested. Doesn't example with inner flame is pretty spot on, Cflame and corpse rot give you the one or two clouds that really matter, and LRD does exactly what you described with proper positioning, as a level 5 single school spell, that breaks into vaults. All of these things also have the common quality of being castable in plate by depths (or mid armor by lair) with less investment than a robes Fcloud, preferring kiku/sif to veh, and offering ways of dealing with the undead. (break brittle, fire is fire, necro invest).

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Post Monday, 2nd January 2017, 22:24

Re: Ice midgame.

imo ozo armour is a good IE mid/endgame spell

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Post Monday, 2nd January 2017, 22:32

Re: Ice midgame.

Quick show of hands - Is there anyone else who thinks that freezing cloud is a bad spell?

Is there anyone else who thinks freezing cloud is not an insanely great spell?

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Post Monday, 2nd January 2017, 22:38

Re: Ice midgame.

I think I've only used it once so my opinion isn't too informed, but seeing other people use it it certainly doesn't look very impressive.

It's probably okay if we ignore the cost but I'm rarely in a position where I actually want to learn a level 6 triple-school spell that is strictly for crowd control (freezing vapors do the exact same damage as Conjure Flame) instead of like, using Fireball or basic tactics to do the same job.
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Post Monday, 2nd January 2017, 22:53

Re: Ice midgame.

Reptisaurus wrote:Is there anyone else who thinks freezing cloud is not an insanely great spell?


IMO, it's a good spell, probably even worth the high exp investment, if you can't find better spells. Particularly good if you can get some summons (ice beast) between you and the cloud. It used to be awesome before the outside LOS dissipation nerf.
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Post Tuesday, 3rd January 2017, 00:50

Re: Ice midgame.

NhorianScum wrote:@ dynast, I'd like to see BoC become comperable to bolt of fire, a slight buff to ozo's and metabolic, Fcloud moved to a place where it becomes an optimal skilling choice in a significant but not overwhelming number of games, and some "breathless" L7 spell just for the silence interaction and the "equal but opposite" to fire flavor.

I would rather just use whatever element i wanted to make ice comparable to instead, i dont want the ice waifus brigade on my tail.
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Post Tuesday, 3rd January 2017, 03:19

Re: Ice midgame.

CanOfWorms wrote:
NhorianScum wrote:I'd like to see BoC become comperable to bolt of fire

isn't bolt of cold exactly the same as bolt of fire, except with 1 less range and checking a different resistance

Why does it have 1 less range?

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Post Tuesday, 3rd January 2017, 04:10

Re: Ice midgame.

Doesnt wrote:
bel wrote:Try doing the same kind of damage with conjure flame, sticky flame or corpse rot. Conjure flame has short range, creates only one cloud and can't be cast on monsters. Sticky flame can only be used on one adjacent monster. Corpse rot requires a corpse and a bunch of strategically placed corpses at the end of your LOS are usually not available. They are all good spells, but they're not in the same league as Freezing Cloud.


Inner Flame is a level 3 spell that also makes 3x3 clouds of pain at range. It does have the drawback of requiring another spell to set it off, but this is offset by the blast damage it inflicts and how much easier it is to cast.

Good point: I forgot about inner flame. But I don't think you've looked at the numbers. Let's do that, shall we, making some rather optimistic assumptions?

Let's look first at inner flame. You spend 3 MP to inner flame the monster. You need to beat its MR; let's assume 66% success rate, so effective cost is 4.5 MP. You then need to kill the monster. Let's assume monster you manage to kill had HP = 60, which is the same as your damage (ignore AC for now). Therefore, you require 2 bolts to kill it, using the numbers above (the bolt can also damage other monsters, let's say you hit 1.5 monsters on average). The blast damage is 3d20 damage, so 30 more. Maybe it catches two monsters in the blast, so assume 30 more. The 3x3 cloud may manage to catch 2 monsters for 2 turns, so 2 x 2 x 13 damage ~ 50 more. Total damage = 60 x 1.5 + 60 + 50 = 200. Total MP cost = 16.5. Taking into account AC which we ignored above, you do, say, 10% less damage using 40% more MP, compared to the freezing cloud example. You also spend roughly twice as much time casting, but we'll ignore that for now.

Repeating the exercise with 3 fireballs instead of 2 bolts (with some extra collateral damage due to fireball AoE) gives maybe 20% more damage for an extra 60% MP (19.5 instead of 12) compared to the freezing cloud example I gave above.

As for pure LRD, at moderate spellpower (again 75), it does 3d20 - 3xAC/2 damage per monster. Therefore, 5 MP on a pack of yaktaurs (5 AC) gives ~20 damage per monster. Multiply by 3-4 monsters per cast, it is about as efficient (maybe a bit more) as the bolt example I gave above. Earth has fewer enhancers than fire, so we can call it a wash. Roughly the same numbers are applicable for pure fireball.

We report, you decide.

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Post Tuesday, 3rd January 2017, 05:02

Re: Ice midgame.

Freezing cloud is one of the best spells in the game imo. Investment is not great for an ice mage since you're already training conj/ice. Branching into air? No sweat, just makes my swiftness and r/dMsl that much better.

Once you get it online it can solo basically the whole game from that point forward. Good AoE radius, huge DoT, huge range, smite targeting, bonus efficacy in every place you ought to be fighting already (like corridors) - just cast once to fill the whole corridor and kite stuff through it while the entire pack chasing you dies. Good offense or passive defense while you do other things. Few things resist it and those that do tend to be not dangerous like undead. And given that its a 3 school spell, MP efficiency is ridiculous. If it were a single school spell it'd be 8 MP prolly.

I admit the training cost may be prohibitive for non ice/air mages though.

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Post Tuesday, 3rd January 2017, 05:24

Re: Ice midgame.

Casting 3 fireballs in depths consumes 10 mp and 2 turns not 15 mp and 3 turns.
Casting animate skeleton costs 1 mp (or 0), casting inner flame costs 3 Mp. This is 3-4 Mp and works every time.
Bolts are considerably less efficient at killing single targets than the single target killspells.

If you have 75 spellpower and still are using rockwall LRD as a main killspell... I cant hate on that why is this spell so damn good.

@Let: If Fcloud was a single school necromacy spell it would be level 2. Fcloud is not "bad" it just competes directly with the most efficent spells in the game and trades an absurdly high exp cost for minor convenience.
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Post Tuesday, 3rd January 2017, 06:21

Re: Ice midgame.

lethediver wrote:Freezing cloud is one of the best spells in the game imo. Investment is not great for an ice mage since you're already training conj/ice. Branching into air? No sweat, just makes my swiftness and r/dMsl that much better.

Once you get it online it can solo basically the whole game from that point forward. Good AoE radius, huge DoT, huge range, smite targeting, bonus efficacy in every place you ought to be fighting already (like corridors) - just cast once to fill the whole corridor and kite stuff through it while the entire pack chasing you dies. Good offense or passive defense while you do other things. Few things resist it and those that do tend to be not dangerous like undead. And given that its a 3 school spell, MP efficiency is ridiculous. If it were a single school spell it'd be 8 MP prolly.

I admit the training cost may be prohibitive for non ice/air mages though.


I have literally never had a character whose primary source of damage was spells that I didn't learn freezing cloud on. This includes my 3 (maybe 4) rune Green DrFE^OldSif win. You're already going to have a ton of conj skill for any blasty mage, so it can do a lot of the heavy lifting, and you're probably going to want at least some air for utility spells. By the time you typically would learn fcloud getting 10 levels in any given skill should not take very long at all unless you're a Troll or are trying to train way too many skills at once. And let's not forget that with rC++ or better it's a perfectly legitimate idea to fight standing in your own clouds.

EDIT: And on what planet is there a level 2 spell that can fill an entire room with damaging clouds that persist for 8-12+ turns? Are we even playing the same game?

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Post Tuesday, 3rd January 2017, 09:14

Re: Ice midgame.

Corpse rot.

It's a thing.

RF++ is significantly better than RC++ and immolation is completely free.

In all seriousness please go back and read the OP past the little bit that triggered "omg fcloud bad? Umwot m8" and all this is outlined there along with phrases like "ice magic is still sufficent to win the game".
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Post Tuesday, 3rd January 2017, 10:36

Re: Ice midgame.

You would need a whole lot of corpses to get corpse rot close to the kind of area coverage that either fcloud or pcloud get.

I did read the original post and disagree with most of it, but the freezing cloud part really stuck out to me. I would also argue that the only places in the game where rF is significantly better than rC are volcano, Gehenna, and Zot. AF_COLD just does a lot more damage than AF_FIRE. If you want proof of that fight a red ugly thing with no rF and then fight a white one with no rC.
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Post Tuesday, 3rd January 2017, 12:36

Re: Ice midgame.

NhorianScum wrote:Casting 3 fireballs in depths consumes 10 mp and 2 turns not 15 mp and 3 turns.
Casting animate skeleton costs 1 mp (or 0), casting inner flame costs 3 Mp. This is 3-4 Mp and works every time.

Perhaps this is just being picky depending on your point... But that assumes you can defeat MR on some trash to deploy the Inner Flame successfully "every time" that counts.

I suppose it holds up provided you're only using it for crowd control to begin with, and keeping your Hexes training up throughout the game (maybe not a biggie for deep elves?)... No?
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Post Tuesday, 3rd January 2017, 12:40

Re: Ice midgame.

In a situation where you want 9 tile cloud coverage corpses are not exaclty a limiting resorce.

Beating Mr on trash mobs/manufactured undead is rather consistant. Its not always used on manufactured undead, skelebombs are just oh so nice. Hexes are generaly worth leveling for the L3 spell suite on any mage since all of the spells have fantasic or even incomperable utility and are very cheap exp/mp wise.
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Post Tuesday, 3rd January 2017, 12:41

Re: Ice midgame.

Oh I think I read it too fast: I see, you're always doing it with your own necro.

That's another XP/spell slot sink though. Just to keep the accounting fair.
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Post Tuesday, 3rd January 2017, 15:54

Re: Ice midgame.

1. Chiming in with FC being really damn good.

2. I always felt Corpse Rot is a bit OP in the early game, but it does fall off quite hard as less things start leaving corpses/more things resist...but that's not for a long while, and it's cheap to spam.
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Post Tuesday, 3rd January 2017, 17:38

Re: Ice midgame.

NhorianScum wrote:Casting 3 fireballs in depths consumes 10 mp and 2 turns not 15 mp and 3 turns.

I don't get it. Can you please explain it to me?

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Post Tuesday, 3rd January 2017, 17:41

Re: Ice midgame.

Sar wrote:
NhorianScum wrote:Casting 3 fireballs in depths consumes 10 mp and 2 turns not 15 mp and 3 turns.

I don't get it. Can you please explain it to me?
Delayed Fireball for the first one? Still a turn to throw that one, though, but that's three turns and only 10 MP at the time of the fight.
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Post Tuesday, 3rd January 2017, 18:18

Re: Ice midgame.

I see. Well, that implies you actually found and learned it, which is a bit of a stretch. I was thinking maybe haste and channeling, but haste is not that common now.

I don't think I ever used Delayed Fireball in all those years I've played Crawl, to be honest.

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Post Tuesday, 3rd January 2017, 18:29

Re: Ice midgame.

Release delay fireball is instant (or very very close to it).

Spoiler: show
Other fun facts

Ice clouds block the instant cast 0 mp fireball.

Dfireball is more common than the mid tier ice spells and can be "charged" at max power every single time. It also consumes 1 spell slot, and has a similar exp requirement to Fcloud.

This would be why the curve of midgame ice is terrible.

Similar "lol Fcloud" spell invests include:

Haunt: The spell that can and will win every single game on its own.
OOD+L5: Its OOD.
6Bolt + Scritters: Actually wins the game.
6Bolt + Iron shot: Actually wins the game.
L6 + Larjatang and Mid armor: Actually wins the game.
Parrow: Fullscreen 1 shot kill on anything without Rpois. It wins the game real hard but frankly you're not taking this outside of VM/Wz starts.

This is assuming you're content to take "only" the standard mage toolbox (blink, regen, animate ,CRot/fire clouds, rmsl, confuse, tak dance) and just... abuse steam/invis in shoals, or cast Dmissile (at Rmissile invest) via brilliance in snake 3 and 4.

Fcloud has the effect of a level 2-3 spell and as it has the exp cost of the best killdudes options in a 3 rune game. It is never, ever worth it. This problem also applies to midgame ice in general outside of simulacrum (I may be underselling metabolic).

This annoys me purely for spoilery/badflavor/smoothness of play/fuck optimization reasons.
Last edited by NhorianScum on Thursday, 5th January 2017, 04:08, edited 9 times in total.

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Post Tuesday, 3rd January 2017, 18:32

Re: Ice midgame.

Releasing Delayed Fireball costs 0.0 auts and 0 mana. It's much more practical than it seems.

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Post Tuesday, 3rd January 2017, 23:39

Re: Ice midgame.

NhorianScum wrote:Parrow: Fullscreen 1 shot kill on anything without Rpois. It wins the game real hard but frankly you're not taking this outside of VM/Wz starts.


Clearly we are not actually playing the same game, because I will take PArrow every time it's available too.

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Post Wednesday, 4th January 2017, 19:25

Re: Ice midgame.

It might just boil down to if you prefer smite targeted spells because they are better, or if you prefer non-smite targeted spells because of some reason? Possibly the game is to easy in general?

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