BVC needs further nerf(s) before the tournament


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Slime Squisher

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Post Monday, 9th July 2018, 15:01

BVC needs further nerf(s) before the tournament

I haven't complained about this yet because I barely ever play spellcasters, but now I do play one and wow.

Borngjor's Vile Cluth is:
- smite-targetted with effective range 6 (see point below), meaning it covers almost all LOS
- 3x3 AoE
- it's extremely MP efficient - its full duration's damage is worth around a level 7 or 8 cast
- it immobilizes enemies, allowing for extremely efficient kiting
- it constricts enemies, lowering their EV, making spells like Iron Shot almost a guaranteed hit; it also helps with physical attacks if the player chooses them instead
- works on almost everything
- doesn't miss
- it requires convenient spell schools; if you are a caster, proceeding from BVC into higher necromancy and/or Statue or Shatter is very plausible
- it's only level 5

In its current state, even if nerfed after 0.21, it should be level 6, possibly even level 7. Yes, it's not as effective at lower spell power, but at higher ones it really shines and can kill a lot of things on its own; if it doesn't kill on its own, it will tremendously help killing with something else.

To be honest, I'm not really sure how to deal with it, luckily that's what the wonderful Game Design Discussion subforum is for! My suggestions are:
- make it level 6 or 7
- change schools to less useful ones, like Charms/Poison, so people don't as easily pick it up on the way to other powerful spells; spell's theme might have to be changed slightly for this
- remove immobilization and constriction or remove constriction and lower damage
- remove smite targetting and lower AoE
- drastically lower damage

I think the last option is the least fun, but not only am I not a great game designer, I haven't even thought these suggestions through. What I'm sure about though is that BVC is still too good and a nerf should be introduced before the tournament.

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EDIT: Comparison with other spells filling the support/damage hybrid niche.

- Irradiate: melee, damages allies, contaminates, more awkward spell schools
- Yara's Violent Unraveling: requires line of fire, requires target to be buffed/debuffed, damages allies (and the player if in melee), very awkward spell schools
- Ring of Fire: melee, damages allies, gives heavy rC penalty, two levels higher
- Singularity: removed from the game

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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Monday, 9th July 2018, 19:07

Re: BVC needs further nerf(s) before the tournament

Leszczynek wrote:EDIT: Comparison with other spells filling the support/damage hybrid niche.

- Irradiate: melee, damages allies, contaminates, more awkward spell schools
- Yara's Violent Unraveling: requires line of fire, requires target to be buffed/debuffed, damages allies (and the player if in melee), very awkward spell schools
- Ring of Fire: melee, damages allies, gives heavy rC penalty, two levels higher
I'm not sure this comparison is informative, since all three of these spells are awful. It's like evaluating axes by comparing them to short blades. A better point of comparison would be Freezing Cloud.

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gammafunk

Swamp Slogger

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Post Monday, 9th July 2018, 19:42

Re: BVC needs further nerf(s) before the tournament

Wouldn't BVC still be quite good if it did no damage? I can't help but come to the same conclusion that it's largely way too good, pretty much any time I've been given the opportunity and it was even remotely convenient, I've memorized it, and it's very, very effective.

Slime Squisher

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Post Monday, 9th July 2018, 21:16

Re: BVC needs further nerf(s) before the tournament

duvessa wrote:I'm not sure this comparison is informative, since all three of these spells are awful. It's like evaluating axes by comparing them to short blades. A better point of comparison would be Freezing Cloud.

Not at all. Those three spells have both damage and utility components to them, just like BVC. Freezing Cloud has as much utility as Glaciate, which is none unless you're trying to be really, really picky and argue about blocking clouds. Just because BVC is overwhelmingly superior (because it's overpowered in general) doesn't mean the comparison is wrong.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Monday, 9th July 2018, 22:32

Re: BVC needs further nerf(s) before the tournament

Freezing Cloud may not lower EV or consistently immobilize, but it's still a damage over time spell with smite targeting, a similar area of effect (if better in small spaces), and a requirement to keep the victims in LOS. I think it has more in common with BVC than the other spells you listed (particularly RoF which is just a fire enhancer in practice). Of course, fcloud is also an overpowered spell, so BVC could be worse than fcloud and still be itself overpowered.

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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Monday, 9th July 2018, 23:19

Re: BVC needs further nerf(s) before the tournament

Thanks for the OP, I've been thinking for a while that I should write a similar post. The spell is broken as it is.

Personally, I would just raise the level significantly. I don't think the spell is in any way something that should not exist at all in Crawl, it's just way too easy to get online and almost a non-brainer to any spellcasting character. Making it level 7 would force you to make a decision whether you want to invest in those spell schools. I would still pick it with any necromancer. Of course the spell schools could be freely changed as well, there's nothing actually necromantic in the spell anyway imo.
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Blades Runner

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Post Tuesday, 10th July 2018, 01:42

Re: BVC needs further nerf(s) before the tournament

T O X I C T E N D R I L S
just kidding, remove poison magic
Remove spell hunger.

bel

Dis Charger

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Post Tuesday, 10th July 2018, 05:19

Re: BVC needs further nerf(s) before the tournament

I have no opinion on whether the spell really is overpowered.

If the spell is overpowered, the obvious way forward would be to raise its level. IIRC, lvl 6 spells are significantly more difficult to cast than lvl 5 spells. And lvl 6 spells are allowed to be pretty good: see Simulacrum or Freezing Cloud or *cough* Statue Form *cough*.

So, just make it lvl 6?

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Halls Hopper

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Post Tuesday, 10th July 2018, 09:45

Re: BVC needs further nerf(s) before the tournament

Remove it from the Book of Dreams but guarantee it from Kiku, IMO.

Temple Termagant

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Post Tuesday, 10th July 2018, 15:00

Re: BVC needs further nerf(s) before the tournament

BVC reminds me of singularity.

Shoals Surfer

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Post Wednesday, 11th July 2018, 17:21

Re: BVC needs further nerf(s) before the tournament

I would pick BVC over freezing cloud any day. Besides the already mentioned advantages, it also doesn't suffer from "oh gee I just entered an ice cave and my freezing cloud now sucks". One of the key features of the constriction isn't just the damage, but the fact that because it immobilizes targets, you can also cause traffic jams in corridors while a host of other things cause damage or take effect. Additionally, the immobilizing effect allows you much more time to escape or channel mana (thus making it an endless attack.) With fcloud, they keep on advancing so you're going to have them beating on you at some point without the time to replace the mana spent casting it. All this, and it's even a lower level spell with two of the best spell schools.


BVC is definitely overpowered as compared to almost all the spells in the game. I cannot fathom why anyone would argue otherwise. Is Fcloud overpowered? I don't think so, it's at least not as clearly as BVC.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Wednesday, 11th July 2018, 19:02

Re: BVC needs further nerf(s) before the tournament

svendre wrote:I would pick BVC over freezing cloud any day. Besides the already mentioned advantages, it also doesn't suffer from "oh gee I just entered an ice cave and my freezing cloud now sucks". One of the key features of the constriction isn't just the damage, but the fact that because it immobilizes targets, you can also cause traffic jams in corridors while a host of other things cause damage or take effect. Additionally, the immobilizing effect allows you much more time to escape or channel mana (thus making it an endless attack.) With fcloud, they keep on advancing so you're going to have them beating on you at some point without the time to replace the mana spent casting it. All this, and it's even a lower level spell with two of the best spell schools.

BVC is definitely overpowered as compared to almost all the spells in the game. I cannot fathom why anyone would argue otherwise. Is Fcloud overpowered? I don't think so, it's at least not as clearly as BVC.

I would opine that BVC is roughly as (over?) powerful for a level 5 spell as summon lightning spire is for a level 4 spell, or Conjure flame is for a level 3 spell. I also do think it's a better level 5 spell than fcloud is a level 6 spell, and Fcloud is a pretty good level 6 spell.

I think the argument that FCloud is a better point of comparison than Irradiate, Yara's or Ring of flames (Which while all below average-ly useful spells for their respective spell levels, also have less traits in common with BVC than FCloud)

But how powerful BVC is also partially depends on how good you are at limiting enemy contact in the first place, since BVC is better if you are facing more enemies at once, or are in trouble and need to run away. If you're a better player, you face fewer enemies at a time, and under more controlled circumstances. BVC is less of a big deal for better players (not to say it's ever *bad* but just not as amazing as it is if you stumble your way into combat with lots of powerful things at a time, where BVC might let you survive a situation which would otherwise be untenable and would get you killed, and a better player wouldn't have gotten into in the first place)
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Snake Sneak

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Post Wednesday, 11th July 2018, 21:32

Re: BVC needs further nerf(s) before the tournament

problem with the spell is that it just does too much damage. Afaik the dmg was nerfed but it seems it wasnt enough. The fact that spell does comparable damage to conjurations while also stopping almost all monsters makes it really OP. Imagine if alisters intoxication was irresistable to 95% of monsters and did a shitload of damage. That would be bonkers but its essentially what vile clutch does.

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Post Thursday, 12th July 2018, 07:12

Re: BVC needs further nerf(s) before the tournament

Siegurt wrote:BVC is less of a big deal for better players (not to say it's ever *bad* but just not as amazing as it is if you stumble your way into combat with lots of powerful things at a time, where BVC might let you survive a situation which would otherwise be untenable and would get you killed, and a better player wouldn't have gotten into in the first place)


LOL. Are you trying to say the world record game was done by a bad player or that BVC was not a big deal for the record? In my experience it does not matter how good player you are, you still will run into "lots of powerful things at a time" late game, be it Depths or extended.
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Post Thursday, 12th July 2018, 15:34

Re: BVC needs further nerf(s) before the tournament

VeryAngryFelid wrote:
Siegurt wrote:BVC is less of a big deal for better players (not to say it's ever *bad* but just not as amazing as it is if you stumble your way into combat with lots of powerful things at a time, where BVC might let you survive a situation which would otherwise be untenable and would get you killed, and a better player wouldn't have gotten into in the first place)


LOL. Are you trying to say the world record game was done by a bad player or that BVC was not a big deal for the record? In my experience it does not matter how good player you are, you still will run into "lots of powerful things at a time" late game, be it Depths or extended.

No, I'm saying that it's pretty good for a good player and that it's *even better* for a bad player.

Also getting a top score requires taking risk, which a top player doesn't do when playing for win percentage, BVC is more useful the more risks you take (that's *why* I'm saying it's better for bad players), so it's going to be more useful in a record-setting game, than one played for win percentage, the difference being that a good player knows when they're playing riskily (and knows how to mitigate said risk) and the bad player does not.
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Post Friday, 13th July 2018, 06:53

Re: BVC needs further nerf(s) before the tournament

Siegurt wrote:No, I'm saying that it's pretty good for a good player and that it's *even better* for a bad player.

Also getting a top score requires taking risk, which a top player doesn't do when playing for win percentage, BVC is more useful the more risks you take (that's *why* I'm saying it's better for bad players), so it's going to be more useful in a record-setting game, than one played for win percentage, the difference being that a good player knows when they're playing riskily (and knows how to mitigate said risk) and the bad player does not.


Let me respectfully disagree. BVC is not a trivial spell so it is much more useful for good players who know what they are doing.
I've spectated top players using it, often they don't cast it as soon as they see a monster or even a monster pack, they often walked a couple of tiles trying to make BVC affect as many monsters as possible or they might cast Sublimation of blood while waiting for the monsters.
I guess our disagreement is based on your premise that the spell is more likely to save a bad player than a good one but it holds true for every spell, be it Blink or Conjure Flame or whatever. IF a spell can save life, a good player is more likely to use it properly, even though a bad player can be saved by it more often (if lucky).
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