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Old April 25, 2010, 01:07   #1
Derakon
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Nexus: remove stat swap effect

I know we've discussed this in the past, but I couldn't find a specific thread dealing with it. The nexus stat swap effect is...not really remotely reasonable. To take an extreme example, I had a half-troll paladin (STR 18/130, INT 3, WIS 18, DEX 6, CON 18/90, CHA 5) who got his WIS and CHA swapped on him before he even realized there were nexus hounds in the area. I guess you can blame me a bit here for having such unbalanced stats, but should I really be expected to balance my stats just so that nexus breaths can only mostly screw me over? It's not like I was failing to optimize my saving throw to the extent possible either, barring my choice to play a half-troll.

If I'd wanted to play a crippled warrior I would have rolled a warrior, not a paladin; thus, I suicided the character*. I know at least one other player here considers the stat swap effect to be equivalent to an instadeath since it can render characters unplayable. I suggest we simply remove it outright. Maybe we can increase the damage cap on nexus effects to compensate, though frankly the danger of being teleported uncontrollably about the dungeon or to a different dungeon level seems quite enough to me. Alternatively, it could be interesting if the stat swap were temporary. Barring that, just turn it into a stat drain. Or make it teleport one of your pack items somewhere else on the dungeon.

As a reminder: when you are hit by unresisted nexus, with a 3 in 7 chance you are teleported (with range 200); with a 2 in 7 chance you are teleported to the monster that hit you with the effect; with a 1 in 7 chance you are teleported to a different dungeon level (if you fail a saving throw); with a 1 in 7 chance two of your stats are swapped (if you fail a saving throw). This is all defined in spells1.c's apply_nexus function. Keep in mind that at the depth that nexus hounds show up, most players will not have had a chance to improve their WIS scores much, which means their saving throws will be pretty poor.

* Incidentally, why are suicides not scored?
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Old April 25, 2010, 01:35   #2
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Nexus breaths can cause some freak accidents for characters who don't have detection capabilities, but IMO the "effective instadeath" risk is low enough, and the potential effects of a stat swap interesting enough, for me to like the ability as part of the game.

I also think that Vanilla could benefit from Rings of Nexus Resistance if it doesn't already have them.
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Old April 25, 2010, 02:10   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Djabanete View Post
Nexus breaths can cause some freak accidents for characters who don't have detection capabilities, but IMO the "effective instadeath" risk is low enough, and the potential effects of a stat swap interesting enough, for me to like the ability as part of the game.

I also think that Vanilla could benefit from Rings of Nexus Resistance if it doesn't already have them.
No ring, but it does have Boots of Stability.
As for the main point: a single bad experience should not lead to a gameplay change. I like it that nexus hounds are dangerous without actually killing you. It makes life (and death) more interesting. Not that I actually like nexus hounds, nasty vicious things that they are.
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Old April 25, 2010, 02:20   #4
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I think it should just be changed to "your heart and liver switch places, you die". That makes a lot more sense than swapping STR and CHR.

If you have to keep it in the current style, make it move a single point from one random stat to another, essentially making it a random gain-one-lose-one effect.
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Old April 25, 2010, 02:22   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
I know at least one other player here considers the stat swap effect to be equivalent to an instadeath since it can render characters unplayable. I suggest we simply remove it outright.
I'd change the ego item distribution instead. Nexus is the only resist that is typically unavailable to a dangerously conservative clear-levels play style, by 5DL's deeper of when it is useful.
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Old April 25, 2010, 02:24   #6
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So, does your heart represent your strength or your charisma?

I like the +1/-1 effect suggestion much better than the alternatives I suggested earlier.

Also, for those wondering why I support some instadeaths in general but not this particular "instadeath": it's because this one isn't nearly as interesting as getting bulldozed by an out-of-depth monster. Nexus hounds are just ordinary monsters that have a somewhat small chance of completely screwing you over, as opposed to very rare monsters that have a large chance, if generated, of using you to paint the walls.
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Old April 25, 2010, 03:50   #7
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Save the hounds, wait, I mean preserve the hounds. Where's the balance. You're suggesting removing their most devastating attack, what's the compensation.
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Old April 25, 2010, 04:22   #8
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You could up the chance of a minor stat swap occurring, so that instead of Nexus Hounds being a low chance of ruining a character, they'd be a high chance of messing with a character. Take the above distribution and make it a 3/7 chance of moving a point from one stat to another, say. That'd make them still be worth avoiding like heck until you have nexus resistance, but would remove the "instadeath".
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Old April 25, 2010, 04:30   #9
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I'm with Pete on this one. The fact that it annoys Eddie is just a bonus
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Old April 25, 2010, 04:47   #10
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I dislike nexus swap as much as anyone, but I also think gain one/lose one is not the way to go. Then the nexus breath can be beneficial a good portion of the time.

Now I would be fine with a gain/lose concept if it weighted the 'lose stat' to the ones with more points and the 'gain stats' to the one with less points. So you have a STR/(sum of all points) chance of losing the STR stat and a (STR)^-1/(sum of all reciprocals) chance of gaining in the STR stat.

I'd also be fine with eliminating CHR altogether, but that's another story.
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