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Old December 11, 2012, 16:41   #1
PowerWyrm
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Kavlax breathes chaos...

Since the removal of confusion breathers, Kavlax's confusion breath has been replaced by chaos breath. Kavlax may not be the first monster that breathes chaos (chaos/balance drakes do so at depth 33), but at depth 39 he's the first one to do it powerfully: 216 damage unresisted, with three nasty side effects (hallucination, confusion and major experience drain that could easily wipe a few levels out of the character).

I always thought the bastard was overpowered for his depth, now he's something you want to avoid at all costs, unless you're already a powerhouse.
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Old December 12, 2012, 13:16   #2
Timo Pietilš
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PowerWyrm View Post
I always thought the bastard was overpowered for his depth, now he's something you want to avoid at all costs, unless you're already a powerhouse.
Chaos is not bad. Gravity is. Dealing with Kavlax is kind of russian roulette if you take it at first sight. If it breathes gravity at first sight you might be majorly screwed (slowed & stunned & Kavlax might get another move). Kavlax chaos breath even at full strength is just 216 and you can get resist against that and it starts to lose strength as soon as you damage it, but gravity 200 points stay until you have damaged it over half of its hitpoints and you can't get resist against that.

That said, IMO Kavlax is not "overpowered", it is just dangerous. Teaches you not to try anything.

OTOH Kavlax symbol is a bit misleading. Kavlax breath arsenal doesn't fit to other dragons, it is quite unique in that way, and it definitely doesn't resemble any mature/young/baby dragons. Maybe crossbreed between hydra and dragon, so "H" as hybrid? Move "Jabberwocky" to something else. Reptile? (Tarrasque is top monster and basilisks are there, but all other reptiles are pushovers). Or keep Jabberwocky in hybrids and move Kavlax to reptiles (it kind of fits better there with greater basilisks).

Or just upgrade "d" to "D" with some color scheme that doesn't fit any other dragons (might be hard, there are a lot of dragons in Angband).
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Old December 12, 2012, 13:49   #3
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I too was going to opine that chaos isn't as bad as gravity, which he already had. That said, I wouldn't complain if he moved a few levels deeper, as he is an outlier in terms of threat-at-depth.

I hadn't considered changing his symbol to something less common. I think M or R would do, as both hydrae and basilisks are known to be dangerous. H just makes people think of harpies, so Kavlax would be a very nasty surprise!
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Old December 12, 2012, 15:16   #4
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I'd say make him a 'D'.

But I do think he should be kept at a relatively low depth. Two reasons:

1. "You don't have to kill everything that moves" is the most important rule of thumb in Angband, and Kavlax is a good example of why.

2. Flavor. Having the nastiness of opponents scale with depth in a perfect linear fashion seems to artificial to me.
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Old December 12, 2012, 22:50   #5
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I've died to Kavlax, I don't see why everyone else who ever plays the game shouldn't also!
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Old December 13, 2012, 08:27   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Therem Harth View Post
1. "You don't have to kill everything that moves" is the most important rule of thumb in Angband, and Kavlax is a good example of why.
Kavlax is also quite easy to kill while keeping very high deadliness, so he makes good practice to tune your skills. If you can damage Kavlax fast he poses very little danger, but if you let it have first turn you might be toast.

Kavlax is like reverse of Ungoliant which takes forever to kill, but doesn't pose much danger.
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Old December 13, 2012, 15:20   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Therem Harth View Post
2. Flavor. Having the nastiness of opponents scale with depth in a perfect linear fashion seems to artificial to me.
Luckily it's also impossible, because the monster that's hard for one character is easy for the next.

That being said, I am a fan of gross differences being corrected and misleading characteristics to be made less misleading. An example of a gross difference is dracolichs being weaker depth-wise than ice wyrms. There's not reason for that. dracolichs should be deeper (dracolisks also). There are not many examples for this. dracolichs, dracolisks and some hounds are the only major problematic ones.

An example of the second is the scale-up between AMHD and other Ancient dragons. You don't see the HP/deadliness difference between MH and normal dragons for mature, young or babies. A player who bases off of prior experience in the dungeon is guaranteed to miscalculate the strength of an AMHD and get killed. To me this is bad gameplay. Drolems fit the same category, since no previous golems breathe, and certainly not something deadly like poison. Up until the drolem, golems are nuisance monsters but by no means deadly. They're also on average slow. Now you have a fast moving golem with a 600 point poison breath. Either the symbol is wrong or at least there needs to be some indication that this monster is different than previous similar ones you've encountered.

You could argue that kavlax is also a problem, but at least he's a unique, and if a player has learned anything by that depth, it's that uniques are way too strong for their levels.
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Old December 14, 2012, 14:11   #8
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Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
Up until the drolem, golems are nuisance monsters but by no means deadly. They're also on average slow. Now you have a fast moving golem with a 600 point poison breath. Either the symbol is wrong or at least there needs to be some indication that this monster is different than previous similar ones you've encountered.
And they're empty-minded. And they breathe for 800 (uresisted) even
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Old December 14, 2012, 14:30   #9
Timo Pietilš
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Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
Up until the drolem, golems are nuisance monsters but by no means deadly. They're also on average slow. Now you have a fast moving golem with a 600 point poison breath.
800 points. More than AMHD.

There are two other golems that are almost as deadly, but there is a jump in danger with drolem. Maybe we need some "lesser drolem" to warn people that there is "major drolem"?

Drolem:

D:A constructed ancient dragon, the drolem has massive strength. Powerful spells
D:weaved during its creation make it a fearsome adversary. Its eyes show
D:little intelligence, but it has been instructed to destroy all it meets.


Lesser Drolem:

D:A constructed mature dragon, the lesser drolem has massive strength. Powerful
D:spells weaved during its creation make it a fearsome adversary. Its eyes show
D:little intelligence, but it has been instructed to destroy all it meets.
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Old December 14, 2012, 16:53   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš View Post
800 points. More than AMHD.

There are two other golems that are almost as deadly, but there is a jump in danger with drolem. Maybe we need some "lesser drolem" to warn people that there is "major drolem"?

Drolem:

D:A constructed ancient dragon, the drolem has massive strength. Powerful spells
D:weaved during its creation make it a fearsome adversary. Its eyes show
D:little intelligence, but it has been instructed to destroy all it meets.


Lesser Drolem:

D:A constructed mature dragon, the lesser drolem has massive strength. Powerful
D:spells weaved during its creation make it a fearsome adversary. Its eyes show
D:little intelligence, but it has been instructed to destroy all it meets.
A good idea. I'd go overboard on the wording though and base the lesser drolem on an ancient dragon (it would breathe 240 or so, roughly as much as a ancient green dragon does) and a greater drolem would be based off of a great wyrm, since that's really what they're closest too. As you point out, they're more powerful than even AMHDs.

On the other hand, I'm usually a bigger fan of removing monsters rather than adding new ones...
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