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Old April 16, 2012, 21:54   #11
Derakon
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So what do we do if the player gets basically no usable spells for their first 15 levels? Shrug and say "tough luck, you should've played a warrior instead"? The entire point of the mage and priest classes is to have classes which are dependent on their magical abilities; setting things up so that you might have basically no useful magic seems contrary to that goal. On a related note, why would I want to play a priest instead of a paladin under this regime?

I can accept the "spells are a gift from your deity" explanation for why spells are learned at random -- but at the same time, as a gift from a supposedly-intelligent deity, they should be usable when obtained. Your deity wants you to succeed, after all. Giving you something that you can't use makes no sense. So the selection of learnable spells has to be limited somehow. Some possible ways I could see to do that:

* Unlock learning from dungeon spellbooks at some threshold level. That is, studying gets you a random prayer; up to clvl X that prayer comes from the eligible spells in the town spellbooks, and after that it comes from the set of all eligible spells, dungeon books included.
* Randomize the spellbooks each game, but leave studying as it is otherwise (i.e. pick a book, get a random spell from that book). This would come at the cost of rendering the dungeon spellbooks wholly unthematic, but it would ensure that you'd get a random-but-usable spell. Of course you'd constrict the spell list slightly so that the first town spellbook has easy spells and the last dungeon spellbook has mostly high-level ones.

You could also make spell learning automatic on levelup, with the game preferring to give you spells from the town spellbooks but otherwise not caring if you have the book or not. This would prevent gaming the system by "saving up" a few levels' worth of spells so you could guarantee access to Orb. It'd still be really weird that your deity would be giving you a spell that you can't actually cast until you get the book, though.
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Old April 17, 2012, 12:45   #12
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Originally Posted by Cold_Heart View Post
Prayers need to be updated too. Annihilation SP cost is realy bad, and lots of spells are useless (remove curse, scare monster, sanctuary, cure serious/critical/mortal, turn undead, etc)
Cure spells useless? o_O
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Old April 17, 2012, 15:15   #13
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The curing spells aside from Cure Light Wounds are useless. They don't restore enough HP to be used in the middle of combat, and outside of combat you want the better HP:SP ratio that Cure Light Wounds gives. The only situation I can think of where you'd use a different spell is if you have only two or three turns to spare in a short break in a fight, you want to restore as much HP as possible, and you don't have Heal yet.
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Old April 17, 2012, 16:26   #14
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The curing spells aside from Cure Light Wounds are useless. They don't restore enough HP to be used in the middle of combat, and outside of combat you want the better HP:SP ratio that Cure Light Wounds gives. The only situation I can think of where you'd use a different spell is if you have only two or three turns to spare in a short break in a fight, you want to restore as much HP as possible, and you don't have Heal yet.
You're absolutely correct. It's partly a spell cost issue, the same as mage attack spells were a spell cost issue, but surprisingly not entirely. Priest spells still cure on a % scale (with a minimum), so it makes it a bit tricky for analysis, but we should be able to do it by considering small wounds (40 HP) moderate wounds (100 HP) and large wounds (300 HP).

CLW wins out on a HP cured per SP basis in all 3 categories. To make other spells competitive you need to both reduce the SP costs, and reduce the % values for CLW.

Here's a spreadsheet that you can use to play with it, if you feel so inclined.
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Old April 17, 2012, 16:35   #15
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There's also the question of failure rate on the spells to consider. CLW is basically trivial to cast, while CSW and CCW are noticeably more difficult. I don't know that this has necessarily deterred me from trying them considering the other reasons to avoid them, but it can't help.

Perhaps the percentage on CLW should be lower? IIRC it's 15 or 20% right now; drop it to 10 or even 5, so you usually only get the minimum healing amount.
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Old April 17, 2012, 16:59   #16
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Nerfing things is never a good solution.
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Old April 17, 2012, 17:48   #17
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Nerfing things is never a good solution.
So every time we find something is overpowered, the answer is to power up everything else, then?
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Old April 17, 2012, 18:10   #18
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So every time we find something is overpowered, the answer is to power up everything else, then?
That, and also making a game a bit more difficult in some other aspect, is one good way to do it.
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Old April 17, 2012, 18:33   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
So every time we find something is overpowered, the answer is to power up everything else, then?
Heh, I guess that's how old versions of Angband got characters with HP in the tens of thousands... thanks to whoever fixed that!
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Old April 17, 2012, 18:43   #20
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That, and also making a game a bit more difficult in some other aspect, is one good way to do it.
I hope you realize that I was being sarcastic. If you have a situation in which the game is generally balanced except for one overpowered thing, then nerfing that overpowered thing is exactly equivalent to powering up everything else, except that the nerf is far easier to implement than the powerup -- and thus, less likely to introduce other over powered things. Nerfs are every bit as important as buffs when it comes to balancing games.

Moreover, a game in which every imbalance is addressed by powerups will have a very different feel than a game in which powerups and nerfs are used more even-handedly. It'd be like the difference between a tabletop roleplaying game where everyone gets fully kitted-out in magical gear and one in which the entire party has a single magical item between them that they must carefully treasure. Both can lead to satisfying gaming experiences, but they're very different gaming experiences.

In this particular case, it's not obvious that CLW is necessarily overpowered, but it is true that it's overpowered by comparison with CMW and CSW. Thus a nerf isn't necessarily a terrible idea.
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