Formicids should not get swift


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Post Thursday, 29th August 2019, 22:57

Formicids should not get swift

I don't get why Formicids can cast Swiftness. They can't be slowed so they shouldn't be able to get swift either.
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Post Thursday, 29th August 2019, 23:11

Re: Formicids should not get swift

What do you think of formicids being able to be flash-frozen, wear boots of running, wear armour of ponderousness, worship Cheibriados, cast form spells, and walk in shallow water?

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Post Thursday, 29th August 2019, 23:13

Re: Formicids should not get swift

Well all of that can be removed too but Swiftness is the biggest problem imo.
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Post Friday, 30th August 2019, 07:27

Re: Formicids should not get swift

OK on a more serious note:
Flash-freeze: either way, but preferably should not slow a formicid.
Wear boots of running: should not make a formicid fast.
Wear armour of ponderousness: should not make a formicid slow.
Worship Cheibriados: gods are allowed to break rules, so either way is possible. Better to disallow Chei imo.
Cast form spells: first reaction is these are fine, as you are changing form. But then dig and shaft self should be disallowed while transformed as well...
Walk in shallow water: slowing in shallow water is ok, as it is a physical barrier that slows you down.
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Post Friday, 30th August 2019, 07:58

Re: Formicids should not get swift

It's an interesting proposal.
It would be a big change to disallow effect that change how long a movement action takes instead of only disallowing effects that change how long a standard turn (such as quaffing or evoking) takes.
Disallowing Chei would add flavour, but I'd be sad to lose Fo^Chei.

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Post Friday, 30th August 2019, 18:29

Re: Formicids should not get swift

From a lore perspective, what "stasis" constitutes is not clearly defined. They have "strong ties to the Earth", and that's about all we get.

According to the spell description for swiftness, this effect is materially different from slow or haste. Namely, you are literally blowing yourself forward with wind (AKA it's a physical force pushing the character). From this perspective, it's not unreasonable for a Formicid to be capable of accessing it.

From a game balance perspective, nerfing formicids in particular is a little strange given their general performance/pick rate/etc.

Walk in shallow water: slowing in shallow water is ok, as it is a physical barrier that slows you down.


What do you think wind is?
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Post Friday, 30th August 2019, 22:21

Re: Formicids should not get swift

TheMeInTeam wrote:What do you think wind is?

My reasoning is that magic should not effect Formicids' speed.

I guess I'm alone in this, but I would have thought that the point of Fo stasis would be better as "no tele/blink/para/speed change".

If Fo as a race would have existed before Swiftness, I'm pretty sure that Swiftness would not affect Formicids today.
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Post Friday, 30th August 2019, 22:48

Re: Formicids should not get swift

TheMeInTeam wrote:From a lore perspective, what "stasis" constitutes is not clearly defined. They have "strong ties to the Earth", and that's about all we get.

Lore has absolutely nothing to do with any of this. Trying to unpack Crawl design through assessing its lore will lead you down nonsensical paths -- most Crawl lore was written as afterthought flavour text.


Formicid was explicitly written as a challenge species. The species conduct was intended to block player access to movedelay-enhancing and repositioning effects.

The idea was to force interesting play by limiting players' ability to press 'undo' (with translocations, or by walking away) after making poor engagement decisions. Linking this to the preexisting stasis effect was a neat way to accomplish this, but pubby's idea of what effects should have been blocked for the species differed somewhat from the effects that were already blocked by stasis.

The weirdness WRT move effects and Fo mostly comes from DCSS devteam members doing things later, for their own reasons, that rubbed against the species design intent.

edit: Here's a link to the mantis ticket that resulted in swiftness being enabled on Fo: https://crawl.develz.org/mantis/view.php?id=7786 , wherein pubby explicitly called enabling (old-)Swiftness on Fo 'bad design'. (For what it's worth, I strongly agree with pubby and dpeg's arguments there, and I think that the viewpoint put forth by evilmike rather missed the point of the species.)


Regarding duvessa's question about other movedelay effects on Fo:

In my opinion, chei/flash freeze/ponderous/shallow water are okay, under the interpretation that adding challenge to a challenge species is not a bad thing.

Form spells in current versions of DCSS should be fine, given that forms don't currently decrease movedelay. Increasing movedelay is okay, as above.

Swiftness and running are various degrees of not-okay, under the interpretation that the species was intended to meaningfully limit player ability to disengage.

(Stairdancing is probably also not-okay! I think it's likely that if pubby had the practical choice to disable stairdancing at the time, they would have considered it; but blocking stairdancing would have been a can of worms that involved significant work beyond the scope of the species.)


All of this is, of course, irrelevant. The DCSS devs took the reins on Fo after it was pulled into trunk. Fo's current state reflects the whims of previously-active devs - moreso than original design intent, or balance considerations.
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Post Saturday, 31st August 2019, 01:58

Re: Formicids should not get swift

I think it would be useful, if DCSS statuses were divided into let's say three categories:

- magical
- divine
- mundane

And then immunity/inability to use depended on that.

So, if stasis hits magical statuses, you would disable blink, teleport, swiftness, haste, slow, (paralysis?,) and other such effects caused by spells, scrolls, equipment, wands, evocables, and potions.
If it hits divine statuses, you would disable Cheib and some powers by Trog, Oka, Lugonu, and probably others I can't think of right now.
If it hits mundane statuses, you would disable spider webs, nets, slowing by water, and speed gains or losses that are the mundane by-product of transmutations and other spells.

By mundane by-product, I mean things like "your legs are longer", or "you have roots": hard time walking as a tree, stasis or not. Or not being able to walk in a certain direction, because of the effects of a Fear spell. The one case I am not so sure about is wispform blinking.

For another example, let's say that we want to create a species with limited access to healing. You can choose to exclude magical (potions), divine, or mundane (normal HP regeneration) sources of healing.

This is just a very rough draft, but having a system of this kind would make the various exceptions easier to navigate, especially for players, and add to coherence in design.
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Post Wednesday, 4th September 2019, 06:09

Re: Formicids should not get swift

Implojin wrote:Regarding duvessa's question about other movedelay effects on Fo:

In my opinion, chei/flash freeze/ponderous/shallow water are okay, under the interpretation that adding challenge to a challenge species is not a bad thing.

Form spells in current versions of DCSS should be fine, given that forms don't currently decrease movedelay. Increasing movedelay is okay, as above.

Ice Form and Dragon Form decreases your move delay if you're standing in water. (Also, if we're talking about forms in general, Hog form is fast.)

Also, allowing Formicids to be affected by effects that increase movement delay is inconsistent with their immunity to Slow: It would be directly inconsistent if Boots of Running doesn't decrease movement delay for Fo but Ponderous increases movement delay. Of course, you can solve this just by removing the Slow immunity.

Implojin wrote:Lore has absolutely nothing to do with any of this. Trying to unpack Crawl design through assessing its lore will lead you down nonsensical paths -- most Crawl lore was written as afterthought flavour text.

I think it's also fair to say arguing Crawl design through outdated gameplay elements is also not a basis for a strong argument. In this case, I would argue that the "can't walk away from monsters" niche is already covered by Naga, so it makes more sense to just remove the Haste/Slow/Paralysis immunity from Formicids to remove inconsistencies and make them the "can't translocate" species. (Alternatively, you could merge Naga and Formicid if you want the "can't translocate" species to also be the "can't walk away" species.)

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Post Wednesday, 4th September 2019, 21:18

Re: Formicids should not get swift

Sprucery wrote:Walk in shallow water: slowing in shallow water is ok, as it is a physical barrier that slows you down.

The description of Swiftness:

Calls forth winds to greatly increase the caster's movement speed. After the effect ends, the caster's movements will be sluggish for a time.

suggests Swiftness should actually work on Fo by that logic, because it's a magically-summoned wind that's somehow blowing you along. No, I don't understand the narrative reason behind being slow afterwards. Maybe all that wind gets stored in front of you and blows you backwards for a bit?
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Post Thursday, 5th September 2019, 15:28

Re: Formicids should not get swift

It's a magical wind that blows from insde the character, aka a series of incredibly strong farts.
However, when the effect ends, the character is slowed by the stomach ache due all the stress suffered.

Here you are, this lore explains how AntMan can be speed up by swiftness.
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Post Friday, 6th September 2019, 15:16

Re: Formicids should not get swift

Lore has absolutely nothing to do with any of this. Trying to unpack Crawl design through assessing its lore will lead you down nonsensical paths -- most Crawl lore was written as afterthought flavour text.


If you think lore/flavor is irrelevant, fine. This is neither an argument for or against the functionality of swiftness then. For those that do care about those things, I'm refuting the argument against swiftness.

Either way, swiftness affecting formicids should be considered lore-neutral.

Formicid was explicitly written as a challenge species. The species conduct was intended to block player access to movedelay-enhancing and repositioning effects.


I see no evidence for this in the game itself. The game can and does block some otherwise very useful abilities, plus a few debuffs.

As for "challenge species", I'm not buying it and I see no reason others should buy it. They are in "advanced" because they require more complicated game knowledge to be effective. They are also already average to below average in winrate, as compared to something like draconian (a "simple" species) which has a terrible winrate.

Per the mantis ticket, there was a bug in learning the spell. I'm not sure what that adds to your argument regarding swiftness for formicids.

In my opinion, chei/flash freeze/ponderous/shallow water are okay, under the interpretation that adding challenge to a challenge species is not a bad thing.


Internal consistency is important. If you want more challenge, there are numerous ways to do it without deliberately/arbitrarily breaking internal consistency. Formicids have excellent aptitudes and XP growth right now, for example. If you feel they're too easy right now for some reason (does data back that?) they could simply be nerfed.

Form spells in current versions of DCSS should be fine, given that forms don't currently decrease movedelay. Increasing movedelay is okay, as above.


They don't for formicid because there are no "fast forms" that you can freely cast (there are a few from polymorph). But form changes actually do decrease movedelay for nagas, and increasing move delay with forms while not being able to decrease it is internally inconsistent. Which is a bad look.

Swiftness and running are various degrees of not-okay, under the interpretation that the species was intended to meaningfully limit player ability to disengage.


Formicid already meaningfully limits player ability to disengage.

suggests Swiftness should actually work on Fo by that logic, because it's a magically-summoned wind that's somehow blowing you along. No, I don't understand the narrative reason behind being slow afterwards. Maybe all that wind gets stored in front of you and blows you backwards for a bit?


His argument seems to be that formicids should be nerfed regardless of internal consistency, so it doesn't matter if water slows you while wind can't speed you up. I disagree with this on a fundamental level; different games have had their design and eventual gameplay substantially worsened by arbitrarily abandoning internal consistency and defying player expectations the game itself previously took pains to establish. If one wants the game harder fake difficulty probably isn't the best way to make the game harder. There are plenty of ways to attain more difficulty, and it's debatable whether more difficulty is useful here.

The assertion that beginner vs advanced species are "easy" vs "hard" doesn't hold either IMO. Draconian vs fomicid aren't the only counter-examples to that. DD has the most elite winrate despite being in the moderate designation. Nagas and vinestalkers seem to be in the top half of winrate. Even mummies have historically outperformed humans, spriggans, tengu, demonspawn, and deep elves...all of which are not "advanced" species.

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Post Friday, 6th September 2019, 21:45

Re: Formicids should not get swift

TheMeInTeam wrote:His argument seems to be that formicids should be nerfed regardless of internal consistency, so it doesn't matter if water slows you while wind can't speed you up.

I don't care about the spell description. My point was that magic should not make Formicids fast or slow. When I cast Swiftness, I'm not thinking about 'ok I'll summon some wind to speed me up', I'm thinking 'I'll cast a spell to make me fast'.
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Post Monday, 9th September 2019, 13:58

Re: Formicids should not get swift

Sprucery wrote:
TheMeInTeam wrote:His argument seems to be that formicids should be nerfed regardless of internal consistency, so it doesn't matter if water slows you while wind can't speed you up.

I don't care about the spell description. My point was that magic should not make Formicids fast or slow. When I cast Swiftness, I'm not thinking about 'ok I'll summon some wind to speed me up', I'm thinking 'I'll cast a spell to make me fast'.


The problem with that stance is that it suggests weird conclusions like "force lance shouldn't be capable of pushing formicids" and "formicids should not be moved or put into the air by tornadoes". In fact you *must* support those changes also for the proposed change to swiftness to be coherent, among some other strangeness.

Again, it's an arbitrary preference/distinction being made that has no bearing on the game's statements regarding formicids. The game says they can't be hasted/slowed, not that they can't be affected by magic. So yes, having wind push on them makes as much sense as wind pushing any other species. Just like getting confused or smited still matters to them.

"Stasis" does not "selectively avoid magic". It explicitly blocks certain effects, regardless of source. You can't attain haste using potions, and you can't be slowed by on-hit effects that completely ignore MR and can slow literally any other species in the game + magic immune enemies. As such, the logic "swiftness shouldn't work on formicids because it makes them move faster" doesn't hold. Swiftness is not haste, slow, or teleportation.
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Post Monday, 9th September 2019, 16:11

Re: Formicids should not get swift

Imo the reason for a species like this to exist is described in what Implojin wrote earlier:
The idea was to force interesting play by limiting players' ability to press 'undo' (with translocations, or by walking away) after making poor engagement decisions.

Swiftness clearly should not be allowed by that logic. Force lance and Tornado are irrelevant.

The specied description leaves the details quite open imo:
Perhaps unfortunately, their strong ties to earth have left them completely impervious to being teleported or hasted; Formicids are tied to the earth with a complete sense of stasis. While this is a seemingly bad property for a dungeon adventurer, stasis has the beneficial effect of preventing many types of nasty hexes and maledictions.

One can easily conclude that if you are tied to the earth, you can't "call forth winds to greatly increase your movement speed".

Edit: the description of Swiftness could also be easily changed so that nothing else in the game would be affected except for that it would be clear that Formicids should not be swift.
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Post Monday, 9th September 2019, 16:58

Re: Formicids should not get swift

Swiftness clearly should not be allowed by that logic. Force lance and Tornado are irrelevant.


"Limiting" and "completely blocking" are different concepts. Formicids are certainly limited.

One can easily conclude that if you are tied to the earth, you can't "call forth winds to greatly increase your movement speed".


I know the internal consistency argument is inconvenient to your point, but ignoring it in this context defeats the argument as you're making it. You are again arguing for things like force lance/tornado/etc doing nothing to formicids, if we're to assume coherent reasoning...and those aren't the only implied effects.

Internal consistency is not irrelevant. Claiming force lance/tornado/etc aren't relevant is incoherent, it's not a credible statement in this discussion and it badly damages the argument against formicids using swiftness as presented. Random incoherent rationale does not typically lead to good design choices.
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Post Monday, 9th September 2019, 17:03

Re: Formicids should not get swift

TheMeInTeam wrote:I know the internal consistency argument is inconvenient to your point, but ignoring it in this context defeats the argument as you're making it.

But in my opinion the situation with Formicids right now is not internally consistent. They can't be hasted or slowed but they can get swift. Not consistent imo.

So what do you think if the Swiftness description would be changed as I proposed, would it then be ok to not let Formicids cast it?
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Post Monday, 9th September 2019, 17:20

Re: Formicids should not get swift

Sprucery wrote:
TheMeInTeam wrote:I know the internal consistency argument is inconvenient to your point, but ignoring it in this context defeats the argument as you're making it.

But in my opinion the situation with Formicids right now is not internally consistent. They can't be hasted or slowed but they can get swift. Not consistent imo.

So what do you think if the Swiftness description would be changed as I proposed, would it then be ok to not let Formicids cast it?


The number of things that affect formicid move speed right now are greater than the number of things that can't, by a wide margin. We're still missing answers to these questions:

- What makes swiftness so special compared to all the other things that influence formicid move rate?
- If it isn't really special, is the current state of formicids such that entirely reworking how a vast swath of movement-altering effects interact with them is worthwhile?
- In gameplay terms, do formicids actually need to be made weaker based on any measure of performance we have available?

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Post Monday, 9th September 2019, 17:35

Re: Formicids should not get swift

Sprucery wrote:Imo the reason for a species like this to exist is described in what Implojin wrote earlier:
The idea was to force interesting play by limiting players' ability to press 'undo' (with translocations, or by walking away) after making poor engagement decisions.

Swiftness clearly should not be allowed by that logic. Force lance and Tornado are irrelevant.

The specied description leaves the details quite open imo:
Perhaps unfortunately, their strong ties to earth have left them completely impervious to being teleported or hasted; Formicids are tied to the earth with a complete sense of stasis. While this is a seemingly bad property for a dungeon adventurer, stasis has the beneficial effect of preventing many types of nasty hexes and maledictions.

One can easily conclude that if you are tied to the earth, you can't "call forth winds to greatly increase your movement speed".

Edit: the description of Swiftness could also be easily changed so that nothing else in the game would be affected except for that it would be clear that Formicids should not be swift.
"This spell greatly increases the caster's movement speed. After the effect ends, the caster's movements will be sluggish for a time."

I'm also not clear that this description particularly means that Formacids should be unable to cast swiftness.

It seems that you're extending the definition of "Hasted" to include the movement rate bonus provided by swiftness. The game treats those two effects as different things. While "haste/slow" *effects* your movement rate, having an altered movement rate doesn't *imply* haste or slow (Otherwise you couldn't cast haste while wearing boots of running, or slow someone walking in shallow water)

If you wanted a race that was "unable to have it's movement rate altered" (or "unable to have it's movement rate altered by magical means") you would need to:
1. Change the description of Formacid to match
2. and in the case of "magical means" go through each effect that changes your movement rate and define whether it's magical or not.
3. (optional) Rebalance the species as needed

Historically, all of that is totally reasonable in pursuit of gameplay improvement. So far I haven't seen your argument from a gameplay standpoint though. So we're left with "consistency" and "flavor" for reasons. In this case the game's pretty consistent, but you argue it's counter to expectation. I am not convinced that it is. Swiftwness (and Chei-speed, and water-walking) all fall into a somewhat "grey" area where expectations are going to vary between individuals. Your expectations don't match mine, for example, however I do acknowledge mine are totally colored by prior knowledge. Better documentation should probably be the first choice to clear up expectation problems. Flavor is the least persuasive argument, and frankly I don't see a Formacid that can't use swiftness as any more compelling from a story standpoint than one that can.
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Post Monday, 9th September 2019, 19:17

Re: Formicids should not get swift

TheMeInTeam wrote:- What makes swiftness so special compared to all the other things that influence formicid move rate?

It is a spell that makes you fast. Imo formicid is species is that should not be fast. If this means boots of running should go as well, by all means disable them.

- In gameplay terms, do formicids actually need to be made weaker based on any measure of performance we have available?

Irrelevant imo. They are meant to be a challenge race anyway. I don't think this would make them too much more difficult.

Siegurt wrote:So we're left with "consistency" and "flavor" for reasons.

Consistency yes, flavour not. Like I said, I don't care what the Switfness description is, I care about the effect. It is the gameplay that suffers currently.

What do you think, if the spell descrition would be changed as I proposed, would it be ok to disable it from Formicids?
"This spell greatly increases the caster's movement speed. After the effect ends, the caster's movements will be sluggish for a time."

Once again I claim that if Formicids would have existed before Swiftness, they would not be allowed to cast it.
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Post Monday, 9th September 2019, 19:28

Re: Formicids should not get swift

Sprucery wrote:Consistency yes, flavour not. Like I said, I don't care what the Switfness description is, I care about the effect. It is the gameplay that suffers currently.


What aspect of gameplay is deteriorated?

Do you feel that "you move faster" and "haste" are not sufficiently different from player perception, and therefore expecations are subverted?

Sprucery wrote:What do you think, if the spell descrition would be changed as I proposed, would it be ok to disable it from Formicids?
"This spell greatly increases the caster's movement speed. After the effect ends, the caster's movements will be sluggish for a time."

No. There's nothing about that spell description that implies "Haste" which is the effect other than "teleportation" called out by the racial description.
Sprucery wrote:Once again I claim that if Formicids would have existed before Swiftness, they would not be allowed to cast it.

Well, since it didn't there's no way to validate that claim, it's just speculation.
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Post Monday, 9th September 2019, 19:58

Re: Formicids should not get swift

It is a spell that makes you fast. Imo formicid is species is that should not be fast. If this means boots of running should go as well, by all means disable them.


IMO human is not a species that should be fast. IMO spriggan is not a species that should be fast. Repeat until you run out. It's the same argument regardless.

Irrelevant imo. They are meant to be a challenge race anyway. I don't think this would make them too much more difficult.


"Advanced" = "challenge race" has already been debunked. In this thread. Whether a species is nerfed or not is significantly more relevant than arbitrary personal preference!

What do you think, if the spell descrition would be changed as I proposed, would it be ok to disable it from Formicids?
"This spell greatly increases the caster's movement speed. After the effect ends, the caster's movements will be sluggish for a time."


No. Address points I've already made for a discussion on why that is.

Once again I claim that if Formicids would have existed before Swiftness, they would not be allowed to cast it.


Irrelevant :p.
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Post Monday, 9th September 2019, 20:50

Re: Formicids should not get swift

TheMeInTeam wrote:IMO human is not a species that should be fast. IMO spriggan is not a species that should be fast. Repeat until you run out. It's the same argument regardless.

Ok I'm sorry I thought it was obvious that "Imo formicid should not be fast because they can't be hasted". In case you missed it, humans and spriggans can be hasted and slowed.

I can't believe this seems like such a big deal for some. Just make a little correction and remove Swiftness from Formicids and DCSS will be a little more consistent and a better game. No other points need to be addressed, just because something else might be broken too does not mean that you shouldn't fix the one thing you easily can.

Of course this is all just my opinion and I don't expect anything happen, although Implojin's description about the origins of the species does make me feel like I'm more right than wrong :)

If things were currently the other way around, I'm pretty sure no one would start a tavern thread titled "Give formicids access to Swiftness".
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Post Monday, 9th September 2019, 21:07

Re: Formicids should not get swift

Sprucery wrote:Ok I'm sorry I thought it was obvious that "Imo formicid should not be fast because they can't be hasted". In case you missed it, humans and spriggans can be hasted and slowed.

You still haven't answered the question of "Why does one imply the other"

Why does "can't be hasted" imply "can't walk more quickly than normal" Given that the two are *clearly* different statuses (they can even both be on the same character at the same time)
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Post Monday, 9th September 2019, 23:01

Re: Formicids should not get swift

Because their effect is the same, regarding movement. They make you move faster.
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Post Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 01:37

Re: Formicids should not get swift

Sprucery wrote:Because their effect is the same, regarding movement. They make you move faster.

That's a seriously circular argument "Faster movement is the same as haste because haste makes you move faster" is as weak as it gets.

Game-wise "moving faster" is an *effect of being hasted* not the state of *being hasted*. That the swiftness status *also* causes "faster movement" doesn't make them the same thing. If the racial description was "Are unable to be made to move faster or slower by magical means" then you would probably have a point, but it's not.

It's not unreasonable for them to be subject to the same rules, but neither is it required to make things consistent. So far all I've heard is you reiterate that you think these things should be the same, because you think these things should be the same.
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Post Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 01:54

Re: Formicids should not get swift

There's got to be a joke in here somewhere about being dummy thicc

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Post Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 06:05

Re: Formicids should not get swift

I believe there is a game design reason for why formicids can't be hasted (or slowed). Now fast movement is an important effect caused by being hasted. Therefore, if something else gives that same important effect, I think the same game design reason should make that restricted too. I don't think that game design reason is tied to the word 'haste' but to what effect that has in the game.

I don't see any circular argument there. That is also my whole case. If you can't understand that reasoning, then there's nothing else I can say.

If another spell ('Quick Hands') would be added that would make your non-movement actions faster (à la haste), I don't think formicids should get that spell either. Swiftness gives you 'half haste'. No haste -> No swiftness.

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Post Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 07:46

Re: Formicids should not get swift

Sprucery wrote:I believe there is a game design reason for why formicids can't be hasted (or slowed). Now fast movement is an important effect caused by being hasted. Therefore, if something else gives that same important effect, I think the same game design reason should make that restricted too. I don't think that game design reason is tied to the word 'haste' but to what effect that has in the game.

I don't see any circular argument there. That is also my whole case. If you can't understand that reasoning, then there's nothing else I can say.

What do you believe that game design reason is? "I think there's some reason that someone made this the way it is" isn't actually a reason, it's faith that someone else has a reason. It might be that there is such a thing, but given the way these things came into being I sort of doubt it (most DCSS development happened 'because someone kind of felt like doing it this way, and it looked good enough to them at the time, and they didn't get push back from other devs'). Further, using your *interpretation* of that game design reason, without you even stating what you think it actually is, isn't really an argument, it's a plea for people to follow you in your interpetation.

*I* think the reason Formicids are the way they are is that there used to be an amulet of stasis that followed the rules that Formicids do now and someone said "Stasis is kind of interesting to be wearing as an amulet it has drawbacks but also some benefits, but it's also annoying because you can just remove it to avoid the bad parts, what if there was a race that had that status all the time" and other people said "oh yeah, that would be an interesting race to play, let's do it" (Then someone else said "Hey lets make that this new dwarf ants thing I was fiddling with" and someone else said "oh yeah, they have four arms and should get digging and be able to wear shields and wield great clubs" and then the great clubs thing was taken away and the shafting and digging it was decided made good counterplay to the whole stasis drawbacks thing" and there was like a half a year of going back and forth on the design and renaming the thing without messing around with the existing stasis parameters much if at all.) That "game design" reasoning doesn't really lend itself towards your argument. That's probably somewhat inaccurate, as I'm just spewing what I vaguely remember about what happened at the time, and it was quite a while ago, but as a vague outline it probably has the right general shape, at very least stasis as it existed pre-Formicid is very similar to the set of effects blocked by Formicids now.
Sprucery wrote:If another spell ('Quick Hands') would be added that would make your non-movement actions faster (à la haste), I don't think formicids should get that spell either. Swiftness gives you 'half haste'. No haste -> No swiftness.


I would say that if someone was designing such a spell, they'd make the call at the time they designed it, and might have conversations with other developers as to whether it fit into the "Stasis" rule, I don't think it would be automatic or inherently obvious (In fact the current exclusion of swiftness from stasis might be a possible argument against including it.) I suspect in terms of game balance, something that gave you "quick hands" would probably end up being blocked by formicids (as taking all non-movement actions faster is *really* powerful) But it would probably be decided by balance and game play concerns well before it ever fell to consistency or player expectation to decide.


If swiftness is not "part of" Haste, but is instead "similar effect to a part of" haste then what distinguishes it from the other things that are "similar to part of" the things prevented by stasis, such that swiftness should fall under that rule, but those other things are not? What makes it an "important" part of the thing blocked by stasis, when other things are not.

If there is a generalized rule that we should be applying here, what is it exactly so that we can apply it in a consistent fashion? (If we are in fact making changes in the name of consistency)
How do we decide what exactly falls into the 'stasis' category and what does not other than a list of specific effects (which is what we have now)? If we are going to stick with a list of effects that are blocked, why should swiftness be added to it, other than "because it looks similar enough to you"?
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Post Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 08:15

Re: Formicids should not get swift

Implojin linked earlier this discussion in Mantis: https://crawl.develz.org/mantis/view.php?id=7786.

I agree with pubby and dpeg in that discussion. But, as can be seen, that battle was lost. I don't expect this thread to change anything :)

What do you believe that game design reason is?

Not being able to reposition so easily* (blink, teleport, haste, swiftness (should be)). Amulet of stasis doesn't exist anymore, but if it did, I think it also should block swiftness.

You're probably right about the process how Formicids came to be :)

* I rather like pubby's comment 'A big idea behind Formicid is "use unconventional escape,"' in that Mantis discussion.
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Post Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 15:00

Re: Formicids should not get swift

To me, the most important feature of stasis is not being able to reposition when you're surrounded.
If you pay enough attention, you can generally reposition with 1-movement speed too, especially since Fo can dig through walls.
Not being able to haste feels mostly like a nerf because you can't use haste to buff verses powerful uniques. The hasting of non-movement actions is more important than the hasting of movement here.
I think that overall Formicids are stronger-than-average, and I like them as such. Nerfing them would make them less enjoyable to me.

I kindof understand where you're coming from, if feel like you have to get Swiftness every time (because it is so good).

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Post Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 17:03

Re: Formicids should not get swift

I can't believe this seems like such a big deal for some. Just make a little correction and remove Swiftness from Formicids and DCSS will be a little more consistent and a better game. No other points need to be addressed, just because something else might be broken too does not mean that you shouldn't fix the one thing you easily can.


Reducing internal consistency does not make the game more consistent! Making such a case while claiming tornado etc are irrelevant is now objectively *incoherent*. Consistency can't only count sometimes, that's not what "consistency" means.

Because their effect is the same, regarding movement. They make you move faster.


You are still arbitrarily singling out swiftness over a wide swath of other things that influence movement, with no coherent demonstrated basis for doing so.

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I believe there is a game design reason for why formicids can't be hasted (or slowed). Now fast movement is an important effect caused by being hasted. Therefore, if something else gives that same important effect, I think the same game design reason should make that restricted too. I don't think that game design reason is tied to the word 'haste' but to what effect that has in the game.


Haste is materially different from swiftness, in that it is strictly superior to it. You also attack faster and have no slow period after accessing it. It's not the "same effect" any more than tornado movement + flight is the "same effect".

I kindof understand where you're coming from, if feel like you have to get Swiftness every time (because it is so good).


This is a separate consideration. If you replace "formicid" with "any non-chei character" you make similar conclusions about using swiftness. That's an argument about modifying swiftness though, not an argument about modifying formicids.
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Post Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 17:51

Re: Formicids should not get swift

Haste makes you fast, swiftness makes you fast, consistency requires that they be treated equally.
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Post Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 18:21

Re: Formicids should not get swift

Sprucery wrote:Haste makes you fast, swiftness makes you fast, consistency requires that they be treated equally.

Does it then folllow "Water makes you slow, the slow spell makes you slow, so consistency requires they be treated equally"?
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Post Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 23:29

Re: Formicids should not get swift

Siegurt wrote:
Sprucery wrote:Haste makes you fast, swiftness makes you fast, consistency requires that they be treated equally.

Does it then folllow "Water makes you slow, the slow spell makes you slow, so consistency requires they be treated equally"?

No, because the slow spell is magic whereas water is not. In the 4th post in this thread, I responded to duvessa and gave my view on shallow water.
Even formicids can't move their feet in water as fast as on the ground. Having stasis should have nothing to do with it.
Of course, all this is beside the point, because I don't care what happens to formicids in water, I just want one inconsistency to be fixed.

Oh well, I guess I haven't been clear enough. I should have said "haste is a magical effect which increases your speed, so is swiftness, they should be treated equally".

The species that can't be magically hasted or slowed, should not be able to cast a spell which makes them first fast, then slow.

I'm running out of ways to say the same thing over and over again, but I try my best :) The Tavern is so quiet nowadays anyway...
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Post Wednesday, 11th September 2019, 00:58

Re: Formicids should not get swift

I can see the argument for both cases when it comes to consistency.

In one case, Haste and Swiftness both allow you to move faster and Formicids are barred from anything magical that would affect speed.

On the other hand, Formicids are specifically immune to "Haste and Slow" which doesn't mean you can't use the wind to push you along. The description for Formicids reads "impervious to being teleported or hasted" the keyword there being hasted.

Some consistency is important so that the game is intuitive. But how it affects gameplay is also very important. Is Swiftness too strong on Fo? That's another thing to consider.
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Post Wednesday, 11th September 2019, 01:01

Re: Formicids should not get swift

There also was some discussion in the past about whether Fo should speed up when raging. I don't remember how it works right now.
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Post Wednesday, 11th September 2019, 06:09

Re: Formicids should not get swift

Shtopit wrote:There also was some discussion in the past about whether Fo should speed up when raging. I don't remember how it works right now.

Afaik Fo can't berserk at all.
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Post Wednesday, 11th September 2019, 15:10

Re: Formicids should not get swift

I'm running out of ways to say the same thing over and over again, but I try my best :) The Tavern is so quiet nowadays anyway...


Rather than repeating the same thing many times, why not try a self-consistent argument instead? You're still arguing that force lance shouldn't push formicids while simultaneously claiming that's irrelevant.

Afaik Fo can't berserk at all.


Correct. They are the only non-undead species that is immune to the most cancerous/potentially game ending malmutations. They can get berserkitis/teleportitis, but neither has any effect on them.

It's actually not clear why they can't berserk though, this is an inconsistency in the opposite direction. Per the game's description of it and the connection to Trog berserk ability, berserk is probably not magical. Yet because the game tethers haste to the status, formicids can't use it despite its apparent physical nature. Using berserk to run away is also a generally terrible idea, because it wears off very quickly like that, so it's not like it's a viable disengage option beyond the ability to just kill the enemy.

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Post Wednesday, 11th September 2019, 15:32

Re: Formicids should not get swift

I think the devs thought that Berserk without Slow at the end was overpowered, and part of the threat which holds Stasis together is immunity to Berserk. (This is to some extend where immunity to Hast, Slow & Paralysis tie together, since Haste is part of Berserk and Slow & Paralysis are its aftereffects.)

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Post Wednesday, 11th September 2019, 15:57

Re: Formicids should not get swift

Sprucery wrote:I should have said "haste is a magical effect which increases your speed, so is swiftness, they should be treated equally".

The species that can't be magically hasted or slowed, should not be able to cast a spell which makes them first fast, then slow.

I'm running out of ways to say the same thing over and over again, but I try my best :) The Tavern is so quiet nowadays anyway...


Ok, so again in DCSS, "Haste" is not "Moves faster" those are not the same thing, "Slow" is not "Moves slower" those are not the same thing, they have some similarities, but are not exactly the same. Your argument comes down to you think they're close enough to the same thing that they should be treated the same, and the devs disagreed.

You keep hand-waving away that they are not the exact same, but they aren't and no amount of ignoring it will make it so.

Also "magically" isn't a *game-mechanic* with a hard-defined set of rules for DCSS (There's no list of which effects are "magical" and not, it gets into a lot of grey area around confusion, cancellation and magic resistance particularly), it probably *should* be, but it's not, it's just a subjectively 'thematic' sort of thing that is imposed by the meta game and perception, as well as being contained in a list of specific things which effect it (and are themselves not consistent)

Using an inconsistent, subjective measurement to identify something *in the name of consistency* is at best weak, and probably just going to get you into bikeshedding non-arguments (see this thread for an example)

Underlying this (frankly boring) discussion is that you are neither right nor wrong that it's inconsistent to have swiftness effect formicids, *because the only thing you can base it on is a subjective judgement* there can't be a right or wrong about it, because the game doesn't provide a consistent set of mechanics from which we can derive a consistent set of rules for it to be inconsistent in the face of.

DCSS has historically thrown thematic consistency to the wind, in favor of "what makes for the most interesting gameplay" and only when all sorts of gameplay are roughly equal is consistency even given a second thought, with the intention that any good gameplay be justified by whatever flavor/description writing is needed to justify it. I would argue that the decision to include swiftness with Stasis and Formicids was made, and that if you aren't satisfied that the justification matches the implementation, that it's the justification that needs to change unless you can make the case that gameplay would be more interesting if Formicids couldn't cast swiftness.

That the devs couldn't (or maybe just didn't) make that case at the time doesn't mean you can't, but you *haven't* yet. I can't personally come up with a reason that Formicids specifically would be more interesting to play if they couldn't be swifted (I can come up with some reasons the game might be more interesting without swiftness entirely, but they're as applicable to everyone else as they are to Formicids) but I don't rule out the possibility that you could.
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Post Wednesday, 11th September 2019, 23:33

Re: Formicids should not get swift

TheMeInTeam wrote:You're still arguing that force lance shouldn't push formicids while simultaneously claiming that's irrelevant.

Force lance does not make you fast. Haste and swiftness do. Therefore, when I'm claiming that formicids should not get fast by swiftness because they can't get fast by haste (or any other means), I don't have to consider any other effects that change your position. Of course force lance is irrelevant when I'm talking about getting fast.

Siegurt wrote:Your argument comes down to you think they're close enough to the same thing that they should be treated the same, and the devs disagreed.
Yes, all of this is true. Although, judging by the Mantis discussion linked by Implojin earlier, not all devs have disagreed.

You keep hand-waving away that they are not the exact same

Of course they are not the exact same. I have said that they both make you faster. If wiki is correct, potion of haste causes your action delay to be reduced by 1/3. For normal-speed species, swiftness reduces the movement delay by 25%. So even the speed gain is not the same. Like you said, I think they're close enough to the same thing that they should be treated the same.

unless you can make the case that gameplay would be more interesting if Formicids couldn't cast swiftness.

I do think the gameplay would be more interesting, if Formicids could not get out of trouble by swiftness, yes. They would be pushed more into using their unique shafting ability, for example.
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Post Thursday, 12th September 2019, 21:45

Re: Formicids should not get swift

Force lance does not make you fast.


Claiming a difference between "changing position" and "moving fast" is incoherent fantasy land. How can you possibly go fast by any use of the word in the English language without changing position? What do you think speed/velocity/etc mean?

Force lance can move you more than 2 spaces in a single aut. This is objectively faster movement than either swiftness or haste. This is why I bothered mentioning it + tornado, because they can make a character travel more squares than is normally possible = faster.

So if your reasoning defines force lance as irrelevant, your reasoning also defines swiftness (and therefore the thread proposal) irrelevant. This is why I pointed out the reasoning as incoherent, because it asserts swiftness effect =/= swiftness effect as a premise.

You might notice that haste does not share this comparability with alternative influences on formicids, so the current implementation is more internally consistent than the proposed change.

I do think the gameplay would be more interesting, if Formicids could not get out of trouble by swiftness, yes. They would be pushed more into using their unique shafting ability, for example.


At the expense of considering training a magic school at -2 aptitude just for this spell or casting it at very low duration, with some risk of failure when wearing armor.

It would be a big change to disallow effect that change how long a movement action takes instead of only disallowing effects that change how long a standard turn (such as quaffing or evoking) takes.


Internal consistency is important!

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Post Thursday, 12th September 2019, 23:53

Re: Formicids should not get swift

Oh dear. You don't control the movement when a force lance hits you. Haste and swiftness both reduce the time it takes you to take steps. They are similar in that way. Force lance does not reduce the time it takes you to take steps, because you are not taking steps. When we say some character is fast in Crawl, we think about the amount of auts it takes to take steps. I don't say naga is a fast species even if they can be pushed by force lance.

My reasoning is that the formicid special property of not being able to get hasted means that the idea is that they are not supposed to make fast, controlled movements, for example to get out of trouble. Swiftness gives you that fast controlled movement. Force lance does not.

Once again, I think formicids are supposed to not get out of trouble with some usual methods (blink, teleport, haste). That's why those are restricted. So in my opinion, swiftness should be restricted too. Force lance does not fall into that category (even if sometimes a force lance could get you to a better position).

And finally, if the devs decided that force lance should not affect formicids, I wouldn't care at all. I just want swiftness to be treated the same way with haste.

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Post Friday, 13th September 2019, 08:50

Re: Formicids should not get swift

This reminds me of Tribes, where you wore a jetpack and you could shoot an explosive disk at your feet to increase your take-off speed.
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Post Friday, 13th September 2019, 16:51

Re: Formicids should not get swift

Unread post Yesterday, 23:53
Oh dear. You don't control the movement when a force lance hits you. Haste and swiftness both reduce the time it takes you to take steps. They are similar in that way. Force lance does not reduce the time it takes you to take steps, because you are not taking steps. When we say some character is fast in Crawl, we think about the amount of auts it takes to take steps. I don't say naga is a fast species even if they can be pushed by force lance.


Now we're moving the goalpost and going back to utility/strength arguments rather than your stated motive of consistency.

My reasoning is that the formicid special property of not being able to get hasted means that the idea is that they are not supposed to make fast, controlled movements


That reasoning has no apparent coherent basis. Slow/haste are explicit mentions.

Once again, I think formicids are supposed to not get out of trouble with some usual methods (blink, teleport, haste). That's why those are restricted. So in my opinion, swiftness should be restricted too. Force lance does not fall into that category (even if sometimes a force lance could get you to a better position).


Quoted reasoning amounts to breaking internal consistency in the name of making formicids more challenging. Games shouldn't do that.

And finally, if the devs decided that force lance should not affect formicids, I wouldn't care at all. I just want swiftness to be treated the same way with haste.


This admission screws your argument up pretty badly though, because you are outright stating internal consistency only matters to this discussion when it matches your preferences in particular. Logically speaking, you should care about force lance just like you care about swiftness, if the motive were to make a consistent theme for formicids. Not just FL, either.
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Post Friday, 13th September 2019, 22:35

Re: Formicids should not get swift

Ok, I'll try to sum up my reasoning:

First, there is a reason for formicids to exist, what justifies the species. I think one part if this is "not getting out of trouble with the usual methods". So blink/teleport/haste gets banned. So swiftness/PoG should too, in my opinion. They are given a shafting ability to get out of trouble with a unique method, as well as a digging ability to make killholes.

Now, everything else comes after that. The spell description of swiftness, how force lance/tornado also move you etc. The easiest way to 'fix' these would be to just add to formicid description the mention that they can't be swift. The PoG description with 'instantaneous transport' is already so close to teleport that you wouldn't have to change anything, just banning PoG would be perfectly understandable to players.

Of course, I do realise that if what I think is the reason for formicids to exist (not getting out of trouble etc.) is incorrect, then I don't have a case. And I'm fine with that.

The fact that the origin of formicids is in the amulet of stasis, is not so important imo, a better justification for a species can also be created afterwards, it's never too late for that :)
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Post Sunday, 15th September 2019, 23:38

Re: Formicids should not get swift

Sprucery wrote:First, there is a reason for formicids to exist, what justifies the species. I think one part if this is "not getting out of trouble with the usual methods". So blink/teleport/haste gets banned. So swiftness/PoG should too, in my opinion.

I agree with this, especially given the reasoning in Mantis ticket 7786; it seems to me that Swiftness working on Fo is just down to details of how the amulet of stasis worked, and that's not desireable.
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Post Yesterday, 16:09

Re: Formicids should not get swift

First, there is a reason for formicids to exist, what justifies the species. I think one part if this is "not getting out of trouble with the usual methods". So blink/teleport/haste gets banned. So swiftness/PoG should too, in my opinion. They are given a shafting ability to get out of trouble with a unique method, as well as a digging ability to make killholes.


Swiftness and PoG on -2 aptitude are not "usual methods". They are neither as reliable as blink/TP, nor as commonly accessible. Using them safely requires more foresight than haste/tp/blink which is consistent with formicid's design requiring extra foresight.

Now, everything else comes after that. The spell description of swiftness, how force lance/tornado also move you etc. The easiest way to 'fix' these would be to just add to formicid description the mention that they can't be swift. The PoG description with 'instantaneous transport' is already so close to teleport that you wouldn't have to change anything, just banning PoG would be perfectly understandable to players.


You can "fix" anything that way. Right now minotaurs are allowed to cast mephitic cloud. That can be "fixed" by adding a line to their description that they can't cast mephitic cloud.

It's not "perfectly understandable" that you can use portals except that you can't use portals. It's internally inconsistent and silly.
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