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Old July 22, 2010, 03:37   #1
buzzkill
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The problem with earthquakes.

Earthquakes suck. A staff of earthquakes is a mixed blessing item at best. It is next to useless. There's no need for it to occur as deep as is currently does (where it is completely useless). Make it appear much earlier and maybe one could find a use for it, as a poor man's STM for example.
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Old July 22, 2010, 05:16   #2
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I think it's pretty nice to muck up LOS without removing something you want to fight (unique anyway). But it would be nice if it was a bit more shallow so you could ID it early.
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Old July 22, 2010, 05:46   #3
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I detect a plea for sanity from someone who is playing an Umber Hulk character... Diagonal vaults full of stat potions must be an utter frustration.
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Old July 22, 2010, 15:00   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Mack View Post
I detect a plea for sanity from someone who is playing an Umber Hulk character....
That has almost nothing to do with it ... aside from making me throughly familiar with the effect of earthquakes. They have a couple of side effects that really ruin it for themselves.

1. They create darkness in their area of effect. Why this happens, I have no idea. Monsters, all of whom operate using ESP, have no trouble targeting you. It hinders the player only.

2. Affected areas, even if within a room, become 'separate' from the room, and will not be lit even if the room is lit with illumination. If you are located in the destroyed area within a room, then illumination will not light the rest of the room. (This was the direct cause of the death of my umber hulk).

3. Earthquakes destroy objects, while seldom causing significant damage to enemies. Even enemies that get buried under granite simply get 'pushed' onto another grid. I've no problem with the destruction of objects, but it would be nice to see the damage to enemies upped a little. Maybe even a chance of short term stunning, fear, or confusion.
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Old July 22, 2010, 15:24   #5
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I think i've used earthquakes once or twice. In these cases it was because I wanted to break up LoS of a room, and perhaps try to open a passageway between adjacent rooms. Both options are obsoleted by StM or create doors.

In what situations would you (buzzkill) like to use earthquakes?
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Old July 22, 2010, 15:29   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzkill View Post
That has almost nothing to do with it ...

small snip

(This was the direct cause of the death of my umber hulk).
Riiiiiight
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Old July 23, 2010, 04:20   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
In what situations would you (buzzkill) like to use earthquakes?
As things currently stand, I wouldn't use them at all. If they appeared much earlier they might serve some purpose (as STM, pre-STM), but I can't think of a situation in which an earthquake is the solution to any of Angband's problem.
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Old July 23, 2010, 04:55   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzkill View Post
As things currently stand, I wouldn't use them at all. If they appeared much earlier they might serve some purpose (as STM, pre-STM), but I can't think of a situation in which an earthquake is the solution to any of Angband's problem.
I was thinking that what if earthquakes, in addition to their current activities had the following effects.

1/10 chance of removing monsters in the blast from the level (like destruction)
1/5 chance of destroying any object in the vicinity. (objects under removed monsters are always removed)
1/100 chance of dropping the player down a level.

Or does that make them too powerful?
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Old July 23, 2010, 05:09   #9
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Moving the player off the level would mean they'd never be used, I think. It's too unreliable a form of "level teleporting" to rely on it for motion even though its direction is guaranteed.

Earthquakes have only two uses that I can think of: disrupting LOS and gambling that they'll remove an obstructive wall that you're trying to get around*. To be quite honest I don't really see the value in the second use, since stone-to-mud or tunneling are generally readily-available. Earthquake is basically useless as an attack; IIRC to do crushing damage you have to spawn a block on a monster who can't otherwise be ejected in any direction. If it were semi-reliable damage then I could see it being used against large groups of monsters a bit like the Dispel spells. Making it a more reliable LOS disruptor would probably make it too powerful, though.

* I've used Destruction to let me walk through large segments of solid rock before. Better than messing with the monsters that were in the normal part of the dungeon, assuming you have the right spellbook.
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Old July 23, 2010, 07:17   #10
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I've always considered _earthquake a negative item. Like the other cursed items it has rare side-cases where it can be usefull, but most of the time it will only be used once per game, usually while testing unidentified staves, and usually next to an important potion.

Remove the spell, change the value of the staff to 0, make the blinding unresistable. Nothing wrong with having a bunch of negative items as long as it is clear that they are negative.
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