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Old January 6, 2022, 21:03   #81
Nick
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Good to see people are still showing up to dance on the grave of this idea
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Old January 7, 2022, 08:58   #82
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Good to see people are still showing up to dance on the grave of this idea
Necromancers are OP. Plz nerf.
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Old January 7, 2022, 13:14   #83
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Banish and Mass Banishment already have a good control (in theory) for their use. The damage per monster removed. The only issue is 1d4 and 1d3 per monster is not a very big hit late game even for a mage 99% of the time. Even if you had the worst luck and rolled max on every monster banished you would need to banish 100 mobs to take 400 damage, way short of fatality range. The odds of that are astronomical and the majority of banishment takes place from a safe position. Not to mention I can't think of a time where there were actually 100 mobs to banish at one time. Maybe an older version with multiple large hydra pits generated on a level.

So I would just increase the size of the dice for the spell versions of Banishment and Mass Banishment. Doesn't even require coding in new functions. I would suggest 1d12 for Banishment and 1d7 for Mass Banishment. You would definitely be a lot more careful about what you are banishing with the damage potential there.

Now to address what I think is the real balance issue with mages. Early game I don't even find mages hard at all. They feel just right. I just buy about 5 iron shots and carry them as backup until my SP gets high enough to ditch them (usually around DL 7.) From then on until about DL 30 mages are super easy for me.

Mages tend to fall hard right after DL 30 though until they get Arcane Control, because so many of the nastier uniques resist a lot of the elements (or all of them) and magic missile and poorly aimed ammo just don't cut it. On top of that enemy HP balloons a lot compared to the growth of the town book elemental spells. I played an ironman HO mage recently that didn't get Arcane Control until DL 50, and from between DL 30 and 50 it was hell. Under equipped on resists and low on consumables because every major encounter was aborted or if I did take the gamble it was a slog. Compare that to ironman warrior which basically can smash into hordes of mobs until DL 50 before really needing to be that careful (and will have to with their stealth.) Point being if the late game mage gets made less OP the mid game mage needs some work.

Sure you can rely on TO and generally just punt enemies away from loot. I personally try to only TO things that are guaranteed to kill me, or give something else the opportunity waltz on in and kill me in the middle of the fight. It isn't fun if I have to spend 20 floors avoiding 90% of the enemies. I am not a "dive deeper" player either and this is especially true if I play with forced descent where every opportunity for consumables or gear is necessary from my point of view.

Let's review offensive spell options.

Magic Missile: I would say this spell is mostly okay. Early game it is the 'bread and butter' and does unresistable damage. It is mostly useful for cleaning up weak enemies or finishing off weakened melee enemies. Pray that you get Arcane Control to replace it with Mana Bolt by mid game though, or hell awaits. Loot safe.

Fireball: This goes a long way and barring needing to be careful around burnables it is useful for cleaning up weak groups and waking enemies around corners all throughout the game. The damage falls off pretty hard though. Destroys loot.

Electric Arc: This is a weak but somewhat useful way to deal with a line of enemies. It is pretty mana efficient as well. However with how common bolting is for the next spell on the list I tend to rarely use it. Nothing is specifically weak to it either (that I can think of.) Would be nice if it had a chance to stun enemies. Destroys loot.

Frost Bolt: Pretty good and aside from undead or cold monsters not much resists it (aside from a fair number of mid game uniques.) Loot safe.

Acid Spray: I pretty much only use this on some of the earlier uniques that resist everything else or on golems. Destroys a lot loot. This is why I rarely use it. Even if it is good to hit a lot of enemies with its cone shape the cost in loot is often terrible. Let us think shortly about when such a function is most useful? In wide open rooms. Items tend to spawn sporadically in wide open rooms too. There is also the problem that the damage dealt doesn't justify the use. If they are weak enough to be quickly killed off with a couple of acid sprays they could be individually plinked to death with MM. If they are not that weak you are not only fanning the loot in the room with acid, but waking and pissing off a horde of enemies. Most of my uses tend to be in hallways forcing it to mimic a bolt spell.

Mana Bolt: Good damage throughout the game and unresistable. Beams about as often as MM. Loot safe.

Thrust Away: Very situational, like if you can't risk phasing. Loot safe.

Shock Wave: Weak. Should be in a town spell book where it might be useful to poke through a resistance hole when it would be relevant. Pretty much useless by the time you get it. Stunning should be guaranteed if the monster can be stunned. Destroys loot.

Explosion: Same as Shock Wave in evaluation. By the time that you get it enemies are too dangerous to piss off by throwing around (and losing control of the situation.) If they aren't too strong there are better options. Destroys many types of loot.

Mana Storm: Costly, but very effective. Destroys loot.

I do hope this highlights some of the glaring flaws with mages' main means of fighting. Too many of their attack spells are loot unfriendly, get resisted, don't do enough damage, or are plain just not as effective. IMHO. Sure mages have the advantage of range over a melee class, but at the cost of loot or fights dragging on too long. Mana Channel can help, but the duration is a bit too short to prep it early for fights and it often doesn't turn fights around if you use it in the middle of a fight.
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Old January 7, 2022, 13:17   #84
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Wait a minute. I thought only mobile monsters count as mobs. Banish works on Q, too!
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Old January 7, 2022, 13:33   #85
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Heh, well its a misnomer to begin with. 'Sentinel' 'mobs' existed in MUDs from the beginning, and that's where the term originates. Speaking of Qs I think that they should all shriek and breed explosively.
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Old January 7, 2022, 15:49   #86
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Explosion is quite useful as a group "push away" and also delivers stunning. Great for dealing with crowds without dangerous range attacks. The mage's difficulty of dealing with high HP uniques who resist all town spellbook elements before Mana Bolt is found is another part of the "mage bargain" -- tough in the middle (I also think they're not that hard to start but only play stealthy mages), but godlike in the endgame.
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Old January 8, 2022, 03:48   #87
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I guess I am just salty over that Arcane Control refusing to drop that one game.
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Old January 8, 2022, 09:25   #88
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A big reason I haven't been playing mage is because once I get the Banishment spell I don't go through the whole alphabet but I definitely hit:
Z Q v s
at the start of every level. I'm not a fan of cheesiness, but I am less bothered by stone to mud/line of sight cheese than effortless, thoughtless deleting in the darkness cheese. I'm also fine with s farming and Q farming as they are situational (you can't do it whenever you please). At least STM/LOS requires some thought and monsters that are asleep/motionless to fully work in @s favor. Would it be possible to limit how many times a spell can be cast per level? What if Mage could only cast Banishment 3 times per level and there were 3 grayed out Xs next to the spell and each time you cast Banishment one of the Xs lights up (when all 3 are lit, you cannot cast the spell anymore for the remainder of that dungeon level and the spell would be grayed out until you change levels, at which point the three Xs would reset as well).

If the other proposed nerfed versions of Banish/Mban were to take effect, I would vote against these changes to affect the scrolls and the staves. These are rare items that are still fun to find after innumerable games. Their rarity keeps their power balanced. Their destructibility from the inventory by monsters also keeps them balanced (honestly, my warriors don't even pick these items up half the time because by the time the opportunity to use them arises they've been destroyed from my inventory!) For example, it is extremely rare I have a mass banishment scroll on hand and I come upon a gallery vault that is only worth cracking with ?MBan.

So, yes, what I'm saying is I 100% agree that the problem with banish is the remote spammability of it, and the lack of thought/risk in that spammability. I love that Angband has super rare and super powerful items like ?banish, ?MBan and _Banish. I would hate to see these nerfed.

Taking a hit to INT also seems like a possible countermeasure to spamming the spell, but perhaps too severe/annoying/deterring, though it being the smallest change to the game of all the suggestions makes it an attractive option. (I'd still cast banish, but I'd only cast it when I really needed it like to make a vault less dangerous/annoying) or to remove aether/time hounds. -1 INT isn't that big a deal. -3 INT is. -26 INT really is (there's actually 49 banashable monster types). Would it be possible to remove a fraction of an INT instead of a whole point? Like, if you have 100/180 INT casting the spell would drop you to 100/177 instead of 100/170. And, hey, if you want to spam the spell you can carry around vigor mushrooms or rods of restoration.
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Old January 8, 2022, 17:53   #89
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Originally Posted by Grotug View Post
A big reason I haven't been playing mage is because once I get the Banishment spell I don't go through the whole alphabet but I definitely hit:
Z Q v s
at the start of every level.
Don't like it, don't do it. INT reduction? NOOOO!
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