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Old August 14, 2010, 21:06   #1
fizzix
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Summoned friends and escorts

Currently whenever an enemy summons multiple monsters and one of them happens to have a FRIENDS or an ESCORT (S) tag, they come with multiple escorts. These extra monsters can fill up a lot of spaces and can be either extremely dangerous or extremely beneficial to the player.

If an enemy sumons a single generic monster, it is forbidden from summoning anything with the FRIENDS or ESCORT tags. Similarly if a monster summons a single demon, dragon, or undead it is not allowed to summon a monster with the FRIENDS or ESCORT flag. These restrictions to not apply for summoning animals, hounds, or multiple monsters.

Let's first discuss what would happen if a summoned monster with the FRIENDS tag didn't bring his friends along.

SUMMON_(single monster), SUMMON_HI_DRAGON, SUMMON_HYDRA, SUMMON_WRAITH, SUMMON_UNIQUE no changes

SUMMON_HI_UNDEAD: you can no longer get a pack of forest, grave or barrow wights that fill up the area. These are by far the least dangerous high undead. Removing friends makes this very powerful spell even more powerful, because you become more likely to get very nasty monsters.

SUMMON_HI_DEMON: You will not get packs of Vrocks, Hezrous or Barbazus. Again these are the weakest demons, (none have breath attacks) but they can all also summon themselves. Only allowing one at a time allows for more dangerous monsters to come, but at the same time limits the demon explosion possiblity. At any point in the game I'd probably rather have a pack of Hezrous than a single pit fiend. So I think that removing the friends summon makes this more powerful, but not as much as the HI_UNDEAD

SUMMON_HOUNDS: This gets nerfed but not as strongly as you might think. You are unlikely to get a ton of time/aether/gravity/inertia/chaos hounds that will cause you to bail almost immediately. At the same time you are not as likely to get a pack of wargs that eat up all the summoning spaces. Because hounds run away in corridors if there is space, having less hounds around allows for additional summons. Changing this will make it less likely that you'll have to bail on a single summon, but also less likely that you will be able to completely ignore a summon. Generally hound summons currently only get 2 types of hounds. Changing this would allow for many types of hounds. So while there are less total hounds, the different types even out the difficulty distribution. It's interesting that summon hounds is commented under the annoying section, when it really is one of the most feared.

SUMMON_KIN: Nerfed, but all the summoned kin group monsters are pretty useless, with the possible exception of a group of araneas summoned by shelob. I don't think there's much to consider here.


Now for escort monsters. Right now it is desirable to kill Gothmog, Lungorthin, Moria, Vecna, Feagwath, Kronos and maybe Gabriel and Ancalagon so they don't come with nasty escorts when Morgoth inevitably summons them. I'd be loath to remove this motivation for killing them. However, on the flip side, it is beneficial to leave alive the queen ant, the cat lord, orc uniques, troll uniques so that they come with extremely weak escorts that fill up the place. The fact that it's beneficial to leave certain uniques alive bothers me, but there are other remedies.

If I had to make a recommendation it would be to limit the summoned escorts to the space immediately around the uniques. The way to do that is to have the summoned unique come in and then immediately cast a summon_kin (with the friends tag removed) Since this does nerf unique summoning considerably, I'm not sure whether this is the best solution. But at least it's a suggestion.

tl;dr removing friends from summoned monsters actually makes many summons stronger. removing or reducing escorts makes summons weaker but thematically consistent.
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Old August 14, 2010, 22:57   #2
Fendell Orcbane
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The fact that it's beneficial to leave certain uniques alive bothers me, but there are other remedies.


I think that knowing what to kill and what not to kill is part of the game. Honestly if we didn't have this forum it might take someone like me years to figure out that not killing all the orcs and trolls is a great idea. Honestly the game IS super hard its just that we have experts to get tips from which make it seem easier than it is: ) I wouldn't do half of the stuff I do if it weren't for this place.
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Old August 15, 2010, 00:21   #3
PowerDiver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fendell Orcbane View Post
The fact that it's beneficial to leave certain uniques alive bothers me, but there are other remedies.
I would not call it a fact. I've changed my mind about it a couple of times, and at most I would say it's a strategic decision with plusses and minuses that depends upon playstyle. It would not surprise me if leaving uniques alive is always a mistake, except it would surprise me if anyone could prove things one way or the other.
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Old August 15, 2010, 10:20   #4
Sirridan
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Most uniques summoned are done by Sauron/Morgoth which often may blow them up with a manastorm anyway. Also, summoned uniques with escorts block archery, so hey not a bunch of undeads, but you still can't shoot at Morgoth, killing the -to and shoot strat.

If he summons high undead / dragons you still TO him and destruct, if he summons orcs you still have to eventually TO him (unless you are just going to melee, at which point the earthquakes kill enough of the orcs to make room for undead).
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Old August 15, 2010, 18:47   #5
nullfame
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
SUMMON_HI_DEMON: You will not get packs of Vrocks, Hezrous or Barbazus.
Maybe this is just my luck but summon high demon always brings a unique to the table so I think this is already a pretty dangerous spell and would argue you are in fact weakening it. YMMV
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Old August 16, 2010, 06:44   #6
Rizwan
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What if the monster were summoned without the escorts but in the next turn/s the summoned monster were free to summon his escorts?
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Old August 16, 2010, 07:04   #7
fizzix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nullfame View Post
Maybe this is just my luck but summon high demon always brings a unique to the table so I think this is already a pretty dangerous spell and would argue you are in fact weakening it. YMMV
that's why I separated not bringing in friends and not bringing in escorts.

Just to be clear.

FRIENDS means that when the game picks a monster to generate, it generates many of that same monster.

ESCORT means that the monster has several monsters of the same letter when it is generated. If these monsters have the FRIENDS tag, multiple of them may appear.

ESCORTS means that the monster is generated with groups of monsters of the same type even if these monsters don't have the FRIENDS tag. That's why you can get lots of orc captains with Azog or lots of greater balrogs with Gothmog.

If you change the way summoning deals with friends, but not ESCORT or ESCORTS there will be no effect on the unique demon summons.
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