Remove the xp penalty for summon damage


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

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Wednesday, 13th June 2018, 17:57

Re: Remove the xp penalty for summon damage

Stonar wrote:But say you do hybridize - isn't the optimal behavior still to summon, let your summons beat the dangerous thing, order them to back off, then kill the thing? Isn't that still weirdly tedious? If the problem with summons is that they make you invincible, shouldn't that be solved, rather than some weird spoilery mechanic that can still be abused by tedious play?

No, 'who gets the killing blow' hasn't been the determining factor for quite a while, presently it's weighted by how much damage was done, so if you do 0% of the damage, you get 50% of the XP, if you do 100% of the damage, you get 100% of the XP (with linear scaling from 50->100%), so having your summons beat on things then ordering them off to get the killing blow isn't the optimal tactic.

The optimal tactic (in theory) XP-wise is to kill everything yourself that poses no danger (or might pose no danger) And use summons as a secondary plan when the "kill it yourself" plan gets dangerous.
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bel

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Post Wednesday, 13th June 2018, 18:14

Re: Remove the xp penalty for summon damage

Stonar wrote:But say you do hybridize - isn't the optimal behavior still to summon, let your summons beat the dangerous thing, order them to back off, then kill the thing? Isn't that still weirdly tedious? If the problem with summons is that they make you invincible, shouldn't that be solved, rather than some weird spoilery mechanic that can still be abused by tedious play?

Well, now you're talking about something else than the OP. I am happy to answer it, as long as we understand that it's a separate question.

To your question: no, your proposal would not be "optimal", because both you and your summons fight separately. The optimal way (if you hybridize) is to fight the dangerous monster together with your summons so that you all do damage simultaneously and the monster dies ASAP. This scenario is likely to be HP-, MP- and time-efficient. You can also tweak how much MP you spend vs how much HP you spend: if the monster is too dangerous, spend more MP for more summons to soften it up or kill it. But those are normal tactics applicable to any background.

In general, when I read these wacky proposals, I always first consider the $100 note on the sidewalk issue: if this strategy is so great, why doesn't anyone use them? Usually, the answer is that the strategy is not good.

Shoals Surfer

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Post Wednesday, 13th June 2018, 18:21

Re: Remove the xp penalty for summon damage

bel wrote:In general, when I read these wacky proposals, I always first consider the $100 note on the sidewalk issue: if this strategy is so great, why doesn't anyone use them? Usually, the answer is that the strategy is not good.

That's not a fair comparison : to get the 100$ note you just have to bend down and pick it up. The problem being discussed here is tedium. A more accurate metaphor would be having 10 000 pennies scattered around the block.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Wednesday, 13th June 2018, 18:52

Re: Remove the xp penalty for summon damage

Also, people do use this strategy, so...

bel

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Post Wednesday, 13th June 2018, 19:17

Re: Remove the xp penalty for summon damage

Fingolfin wrote:
bel wrote:In general, when I read these wacky proposals, I always first consider the $100 note on the sidewalk issue: if this strategy is so great, why doesn't anyone use them? Usually, the answer is that the strategy is not good.

That's not a fair comparison : to get the 100$ note you just have to bend down and pick it up. The problem being discussed here is tedium. A more accurate metaphor would be having 10 000 pennies scattered around the block.

Which problem are you talking about? The OP, or the one in my last post? They're not the same.

But both are wrong, for different reasons.

Blades Runner

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Post Wednesday, 13th June 2018, 23:37

Re: Remove the xp penalty for summon damage

Very curious to know if bel would support a "ranged weapons exp penalty" to encourage hybridizing out of longbows.
Remove spell hunger.

bel

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Post Thursday, 14th June 2018, 01:06

Re: Remove the xp penalty for summon damage

To first answer your question: ranged combat is broken, sure. Would an XP penalty help? Maybe. But ranged weapon users tend to train melee anyway, so I don't know if it would matter much. Do Crawl devs actually aim for ranged weapon users to hybridize out of bows? I don't know; you have to ask them.

In general, to repeat my point: I am saying that the reasoning given in the OP is wrong. I do not claim with any great confidence that the XP penalty for summons is a good idea, or that it's very effective.

Halls Hopper

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Post Friday, 15th June 2018, 01:39

Re: Remove the xp penalty for summon damage

If the goal of the summons exp penalty is to send a message to the player that they should hybridize, shouldn't the game do a better job sending this message?


Here was my experience:

**Be a newish player, play some Summoner background games**

Me: "Man, summoner is really hard. I feel really weak by the midgame."

Friend: "Yeah, you get half exp for summons kills."

Me: "...what?! How the fuck was I supposed to know that? This game is dumb."

**Stops playing Crawl for a while**


It's such a punish style. When you peek behind the veil and discover how it actually works, there's just a middle finger there =/

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bel

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Post Friday, 15th June 2018, 06:50

Re: Remove the xp penalty for summon damage

nvm

Shoals Surfer

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Post Saturday, 16th June 2018, 04:53

Re: Remove the xp penalty for summon damage

It seems to me that an experience penalty used as a way to try to keep check on summoning power in terms of game balance is an awkward method, and it seems like a fair number of people agree. But, then the next question I see is: what is a better solution - to which there aren't many answers, or the answers mean major overhauls to the game. Certainly nothing very easy.

What puzzles me though is, what does it matter if summoning (without the exp drain) is felt to be "overpowered" by some? I've often argued for things to be balanced, for example between races or melee/casting. In response, I've heard things like: the game isn't trying to have everything be balanced, for variety of challenge. The biggest problem of all that I see is that the current design is either unknown to people, or it causes a segment of people to play tediously, or in my case roughly equivalently - to mostly always avoid allies at least until very late game when I don't need xp anymore. Is it more psychological than anything? Perhaps. It's not nothing though, and there is something to be said for small gains helping you stay ahead of the curve even when they don't do it all on their own.

I very much hope that experience is taken out of the equations with allies one way or another.

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Spider Stomper

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Post Saturday, 16th June 2018, 14:46

Re: Remove the xp penalty for summon damage

The reason summoners got an xp penalty was because their summons are like ranged attacks but only better considering they are also semi-permanent with a bunch of hitpoints, block los, distract monsters, block monster pathing, all while doing damage and only costing the player a continually renewable resource. The solution which isn't "remove summoners" is to remove the permanence/spammability of their summons, and there were a number of interesting ideas in the beginning of this thread dealing with that.

bel

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Post Saturday, 16th June 2018, 16:05

Re: Remove the xp penalty for summon damage

Realz wrote:If the goal of the summons exp penalty is to send a message to the player that they should hybridize, shouldn't the game do a better job sending this message?


Here was my experience:

**Be a newish player, play some Summoner background games**

Me: "Man, summoner is really hard. I feel really weak by the midgame."

Friend: "Yeah, you get half exp for summons kills."

Me: "...what?! How the fuck was I supposed to know that? This game is dumb."

**Stops playing Crawl for a while**


It's such a punish style. When you peek behind the veil and discover how it actually works, there's just a middle finger there =/

This thread makes me feel like I'm going crazy, or living in some alternate reality.

  • The XP penalty is mentioned in ?F. I'll be honest and say that I didn't originally learn about the XP penalty that way: I just picked it up from IRC or Tavern. Perhaps the game should communicate it better.
  • There is no requirement that you hybridize, just a nice carrot for if you do. "Pure" Summoners are completely viable, and the best course of action for many characters. Indeed, my first Su "win" was a mostly-pure summoner DESu of Sif. I knew basically nothing about Su at the time.
  • Summoners are not weak in the middle game. This contention does not jive with my experience at all. To reassure myself that I was not completely crazy, I ran a few Sequell queries, and found that if you order classes by where they usually die, and look for, say the Lair branches; Su comes out near the bottom.

You might feel cheated about not knowing about the XP penalty, but that's not why you were losing.

Spoiler: show
I ran the following Sequell query:
!lg * recent s=class !won / place=(snake|spider|shoals|swamp|lair|orc)

and various subsets of the dying place.

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

In case I am indeed crazy, and the XP penalty ought to be removed, I propose the following simple way to encourage hybridization:

  • Remove the XP penalty.
  • Cut all summons' HP by, say, 25%. Their damage is unchanged.

This will encourage players to fight alongside their summons, because if the player tanks the hits, the summons will be more effective.

bel

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Post Saturday, 16th June 2018, 16:39

Re: Remove the xp penalty for summon damage

Btw, here's another reason I find this thread extremely weird.

I know that many people consider Borg's Vile Clutch to be fundamentally bad design (I do too). Why is it bad design? Because it damages the monster over time and stops the monster from reaching the player.

That's exactly what summons minus the XP penalty is.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Saturday, 16th June 2018, 18:01

Re: Remove the xp penalty for summon damage

Do you think giving BVC an experience penalty would improve it?

bel

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Post Saturday, 16th June 2018, 18:49

Re: Remove the xp penalty for summon damage

It would be polishing a turd.

Mines Malingerer

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Post Saturday, 16th June 2018, 20:55

Re: Remove the xp penalty for summon damage

The game already has mechanics that encourage hybridization, like the way the more experience you put into your primary skills the less cost it is equivalently to level points into others.
And the fact that most races have skills that are very cheap to delve into (like MfSu with the big shiny +4 and +3 to pole arms and dodging for example).

If anything, the experience penalty discourages hybridization, because you have less free skill experience to play around with after getting your primary spells online.

And the first and only place i have ever heard of the summoning cuts exp mechanic before this thread was in the patch notes when they did nerfs to summons, it is definitely too hidden.

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