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Old December 15, 2010, 08:56   #1
Timo Pietilš
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gain one, lose one and nexus

Hello.

Just got a tiny revelation about what "side-effect" lose one, gain one -stat-potions have caused: You absolutely need nexus resist for a long time.

Before those potions were introduced you pretty much gained stats at same speed, which lead to situation that if nexus swapped your stats it wasn't catastrophe. Well, my discardable test-char has following internal stats now:

(gnome mage, standard roller, 18/30 starting INT)
STR: 18
INT: 18/100
WIS: 9
DEX: 18/100
CON: 18/100
CHR: 17

I just can't afford any of those high stats getting swapped with that WIS. Instead of increasing it has been decreasing for a while. It actually was a bit lower at one point, but I have found two or three WIS-potions since then.

It is a bit mixed blessing. Without those potions I wouldn't be as deep as I'm now, but with them I can't afford losing nexus resist. Nexus vortex is not registered in ESP, and because those things move fast and are ever vigilant with huge detection radius I can meet one without detecting it with detection spells (it only takes one shot to ruin your day and if you run down a long dark corridor you might get to it's LoS without seeing it). It now takes twice (or more) as long as it would take otherwise to get that WIS maxed.

This bugs me a bit. There should be a better method of smoothing stat-gain than "magical potions".

Maybe gain stats (based on class) with clvl with some algorithm. Fighting stats+spellcasting, mages and priests emphasis on spellcasting, rogues, rangers and paladins emphasis on fighting stats & some to spellcasting, warrior only fighting stats with gain faster than other classes. Leave potions there too to max things but make those level-based gains big enough to reduce need to find potions.
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Old December 15, 2010, 14:04   #2
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I think I've made suggested everyone one of your solutions before, although they're not universally liked. To me the bigger problem is that nexus has such wide varying effects, so that being struck with a nexus breath gives you a 1/10 chance of stat swapping and from there, roughly a 1/3 chance of swapping one of your low stats (Wis or Chr) with one of your better ones. 1/30 is way too large a risk to be taking in Angband, so nexus swapping needs to be avoided at all costs.

Nexus resist now becomes as important or probably more important than poison resist, but it is significantly rarer over the level range where it is important. There are some mitigating factors, namely that nexus resist will primarily come from boots of stability, a not uncommon ego item. Boots are probably the second weakest slot (cloak being first) until you find boots of speed. This is unlike poison resist which you're likely to be using up a valuable ring slot for.

Along with mucking with stat gains which is a huge gameplay change, and will probably need significant testing, it might be better to rethink how nexus stat swap works.

For a while I was playing a custom mod that changed nexus stat swap so that it had the same effect as drinking a random gain one - lose one potion. This really made stat swap a mixed bag, possibly having a good effect. It could not ruin a game anymore. You were more likely to get killed by the teleport away effect. I liked this, but it's not ideal. Given time, I would improve this so that it was more likely to decrease a high stat and increase a low one. If anyone wants this mod, let me know and I can post a patch.

Alternatively, there are thoughts of removing the stat restore potions from the town and replacing them all with a dungeon only potion of stat restore that restores all stats. We could make this also revert nexus stat swap.

Again, alternatively, we could make stat swap a rarer choice than it is, and perhaps give characters a saving throw against it. Then priests/paladins who are most vulnerable for lack of detection would have the best chance of resisting it. If a devastating stat swap became a 1/1000 chance per breath, it might make sense to go without it. (I don't like this option, although it's the easiest to implement.)

Ok, that was longer than I meant this to be. I've spent a lot of time thinking about stat swap...
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Old December 15, 2010, 14:11   #3
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IMO, Life (in the dungeon) sucks. we already have rNrxus. Much ado about nothing.
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Old December 15, 2010, 15:18   #4
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I'd say replace the existing Nexus stat swap with a gain 5 / lose 5. Gain 1 / lose 1 is too minor to really be punishment, but gain 5 / lose 5 is nowhere near as punishing as the current swap. On the flipside, this also means that the "stat swap" is still a threat even after you max your stats -- it turns into "permanently lose 5 off of a stat".

I think that's big enough punishment that you'll want to have nexus resist, without being so big that you don't dare go adventuring without it. No longer into the "well, this character's no longer worth playing" bin, more into the "whoops, now things are significantly harder" bin.
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Old December 15, 2010, 15:27   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
I'd say replace the existing Nexus stat swap with a gain 5 / lose 5. Gain 1 / lose 1 is too minor to really be punishment, but gain 5 / lose 5 is nowhere near as punishing as the current swap. On the flipside, this also means that the "stat swap" is still a threat even after you max your stats -- it turns into "permanently lose 5 off of a stat".
Tele-away is very dangerous and tele-level can be exceedingly frustrating. tele-to can also be dangerous if, say a vortex brings you into a vault. I think we forget how dangerous these are only because stat-swap is an absolute nightmare.

(I'm not opposed to a gain 5/ lose 5 approach either)
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Old December 15, 2010, 15:59   #6
Dean Anderson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzkill View Post
IMO, Life (in the dungeon) sucks. we already have rNrxus. Much ado about nothing.
And Banishment.

Banish 'Z' is one of my favourite spells...
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Old December 15, 2010, 17:04   #7
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"tele-level can be exceedingly frustrating"

Today; NPP small dragon stronghold quest level. 261 of 262 killed - 1 to go. I approach it, 5 squares away, then an NPP ranged-attack nexus trap teleports me back up a level. Quest failed. I had no destroy-trap wand or rod.

Most frustrating, but them's the breaks.
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Old December 15, 2010, 17:19   #8
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Which is why I carry disarming rods in NPP now. Especially with the increased frequency of vaults, since so many vaults love the "long corridor with traps on every tile" shtick...

Fizzix: the main problem with Nexus is the chance of rendering a character unplayable with a single action. It's effectively an instadeath, and one of the earliest and hardest to guard against ones in the game. I have no problem with nexus being very dangerous. In fact, that's a good thing.

Dean: sadly, half the classes can't afford to banish Z on every level since it means burning scrolls or staff charges. And of course, by the time you get any access to banishment, you've been wrestling with nexus hounds and vortices for ages.
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Old December 15, 2010, 17:52   #9
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If I'd had disarming (and I did look for it in the drops) it wouldn't have helped. As soon as I was in LOS of the trap; it got me. I could have dug my way to that last dragon, and avoided the trap. Laziness.
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Old December 15, 2010, 18:24   #10
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I've often thought that stat-swapping would be more appropriate as a Chaos effect rather than Nexus (I'm not sure if Chaos already has this effect in V.)

Then maybe Nexus could have some alternative effect - perhaps teleporting an item from your inventory to somewhere else in the level.
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