Static Discharge

For a level 4 spell which requires you to be adjacent to multiple enemies and damages the caster, Static Discharge's damage output is completely underwhelming. Other 4th-level attack spells like IMB, Throw Icicle, Airstrike, Sticky Flame all seem to deal far more damage without any of the downsides, even factoring in the fact that SD can hit multiple targets.

I suggest giving SD a straight damage buff, or reducing its spell level to 3 - possibly even both. The mechanic of becoming more effective when you have more adjacent enemies is an interesting one, and even the self-damage could be fine if only the damage output was worthwhile. — marvinpa 2010-09-16 01:31

A damage buff is better if only one of the above options are taken, as a low-level caster hardly wants to damage himself with enemies adjacent and the current spell isn't worthwhile for stronger casters to care about, regardless of spell level. Not sure if that's enough, though. — og17 2010-09-16 03:57
The one problem with a damage buff is that it would possibly hurt the caster more? Perhaps there should be some help like (a) guarantee that the player is hit at most once and/or (b) cap the damage the player may receive.
By the way, did you ask around (on the IRC channels) whether there are some spell users around? (I am just asking because almost everyone assumes that Passwall sucks outright, but it is a gem of a spell, if you know how to use it. It might be that the value of Static Discharge is similarly underappreciated.) — dpeg 2010-09-16 04:46
I played an Air Elementalist through to mid-lair purely to try Static Discharge as much as possible. Against enemies like spiny frogs it required multiple uses and I ended up taking heavy damage, and against the elephant packs it was hopeless - any other of the level 4 spells I mentioned could've dealt with spiny frogs with ease, and elephants too with a little more effort. Both against single enemies (where in theory it can arc a lot and deal lots of damage) and against 3 or 4 enemies at once, the damage output was unimpressive - setting up bolt bounces with shock was a much more efficient way of dealing damage to them (although quite difficult due to trampling, which is a fairly cool side-effect of it incidentally). Thanks to the spell's self-damage, I died to a spear trap when retreating from an elephant pack that multiple Static Discharges had failed to get any below moderately wounded. So yeah, reducing the self-damage would probably also be helpful especially considering that you stand next to an enemy and allow it to hit you at the same time as casting it. — marvinpa 2010-09-16 14:21
I think Static discharge is one of the worst spells in the game as is, and this hinders pure air elementalists since there is no real bridge between shock and Airstrike/lightning bolt. I suggest that upping the damage of the spell is not the way to go; instead a complete re-working of the spell is needed. My proposal: When you cast static discharge, you get the status “Charged.” When something attacks you in melee, a discharge occurs. The charge takes 20 turns or so to reach full effect; if you cast it and a black mamba hits you one turn later, the discharge would do neglible damage. If you cast it and something hits you 20 turns later, ZOT. It could expire after a certain amount of time, maybe 50-100 turns. I think this could synergize nicely with swiftness - if there's something strong that shock won't deal with, you can begin running with swiftness, charge up the discharge, and then turn to fight. Alternatively, you could confuse monsters with Mephitic Cloud, activate the charge, and engage the monster in melee - if they get a lucky hit on you while they're confused, they would get zapped.
Someone on something awful suggested the following: Have it be a buff with a duration similar to enchantments, and un-extendable: Recasting makes the spell fizzle. Damage increases with movement, not over time. Each strike against you discharges the current level of charge without canceling the buff. At the end of the spell, remaining charge is discharged in an explosion around the caster, with the radius/damage being a function of the amount of charge. — happylisk 2010-11-18 10:37
So basically, the spell demands that you kite? Kiting isn't very fun and I don't think encouraging it is a good idea. — brickman 2010-11-19 05:02

My proposal: casting it charges your hand (unlike Confusing Touch, it cannot be recast for multiple strikes). It's delivered as a touch attack, and it hits the target for a great amount of damage. It then arcs to surrounding targets for lesser damage, and it cannot arc back to you. — eronarn 2010-11-19 19:59

I think there was already a suggestion for a level 1 air equivalent to that. Anyways, while that sounds useful I feel hesitant tying the only Air Elementalist spell of level higher than three (and the only spell concerned primarily with damage dealing above level one) to unarmed combat, since that shoehorns any air elementalist who doesn't get lucky with another book in their selection of other skills. I'd be fine with this version if lightning bolt or airstrike was swapped into the book of Air and Static Discharge out (Airstrike may be too good). — brickman 2010-11-19 20:50
You don't need to specialize in unarmed combat to cast touch spells:
      if (you.duration[DUR_CONFUSING_TOUCH])
          // Just trying to touch is easier that trying to damage.
          your_to_hit += maybe_random2(you.dex(), random_factor);
eronarn 2010-11-19 21:32

Even if it's easier to touch than do damage, it basically limits the spell to people specializing in unarmed - someone with a staff or weapon won't want to constantly unequip to get this spell off. This is a problem because there's no transmutation/air spell, so air and unarmed combat doesn't synergize terribly well. The spell you're describing might be a lot of fun for a Black Draconian monk, but otherwise… what if the effect you described applied to unarmed attack, any attack with a weapon with the elec brand, or any attack with a staff of air? Not adding a brand to the weapon so much as increasing the brand's power for a single hit. With the explosive arc, it'd be really cool. — happylisk 2010-11-19 05:32

There's nothing conceptually wrong with the spell now, and it certainly doesn't need to require set-up time or weapon swapping or specific items. “Big hit on a target and weaker hits chained down adjacent creatures” could work, though, casted similarly to freeze or vampiric draining - directing the brunt of the damage would be a solid improvement, as long as there's actually damage to direct. — og17 2010-11-20 07:30
I had an idea for a completely different version of static discharge based on turning the player into a living Van der Graaf generator. In the new version, when you cast static discharge you get a buff called Charged which lasts 5-10 rounds (more/less?) depending on power level. Each round you have the charge buff, you gain a point of charge (C). After gaining the point of charge, the spell checks to see if there are any targets within a range equal to C. If there are, the spell launches a bolt of lighting doing a constant damage * C to a randomly picked target and you lose all charge points. If the charge gets greater than 5, the spell shorts out and you take the damage. The spell also shorts and you take damage if you step into water (and maybe steam). Alternatively, if you wanted the spell to be more risky, then you could have chance that is shorts every round which grows exponentially with C (e.g., C^3/125 ) . If the spell ends while you still have charges, they vanish harmlessly. The idea behind the spell would be to give air mages an ability they can use while kiting with their speed advantage. It would be very powerful against single targets in controlled situations and tactically interesting against multiple targets. Keep in mind, this spell is supposed to have a similar power to Sticky Flame and Throw Icicle. — rosetintedglasses 2012-04-01 03:52
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graveyard/static_discharge.txt · Last modified: 2012-04-01 04:28 by rosetintedglasses
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