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Adding Vehumet zealot background #588

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commented Aug 9, 2017

Destroyers are mages that start without book and receive new spells from Vehumet instead.

As discussed in that thread.


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commented Aug 9, 2017

In general the aim has been to reduce the number of zealots (as per the removal of Beogh, Makhleb, Zin, Yredelemnul starts) since picking a god is a major early focus. Be and CK were kept because their D:1 play is substantially changed from normal play, compared to just finding and taking the god early (and Lugonu doesn't really qualify there but got something of a free pass for theme and for giving new players an opportunity to see the Abyss). None of that's really the case for Vehumet, I don't think this makes for an interesting background.


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commented Aug 11, 2017

I agree that generally, fewer zealot starts are better than more. And if this were a "book start, except with Vehumet" kind of deal, I'd be against it. However, this is more of a "bookless conjurer" start which seems new to me. Instead of having a planned build you can rely on based on your starting book (and which will generally give a well-defined "good" path through Lair), you rely on the whims of Vehumet and the floor.

Maybe it doesn't play as differently as I'm thinking it would, but at least on paper it sounds like D:1 play would be different than any of the conjuration-focused book starts.


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commented Aug 14, 2017

I thought a book-less conjurer start could potentially be interesting, so I tried a practice game. I have to say, it feels terribly weak. I'm XL5 on D:3 and still haven't been offered a single level 2 spell. Apparently the first gift (which I got at XL2) is always a level 1 spell and the second gift (which I got at XL3) can be either level 1 or level 2. There are some usable level 1 spells, but they're not a huge improvement over magic dart, so really you'd like to get something at least level 2 to work with, preferably 3. Waiting until XL5 or XL6 before that happens is miserable; you would do much better to pick a book start to survive the early game with a Vehumet altar to give you some mid-game direction.

I don't think this background actually produces an interestingly different style of play; it's just worse than starting with a book.


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commented Aug 16, 2017

I too tried it out, a few games of HuCj, dropping book and taking vehu immediately, starting with default setting of 15 piety. Its really bad, so i buffed it a bit along the way.

First game i got a flame tongue on D1, made it to D3 before getting poisoned by an adder and dieing.

Second game was bad, I made it to D3 XL 5 but never got a spell gift. I suspect this character is vulnerable to piety swings. I had no answers to worms or an orc in scale mail. I died to a an orc priest when my retreat was blocked. I probably could have been able to live with a hex wand and a venom dagger that dropped, but I'm not exactly trying to play flawlessly and make full use of a favorable floorgod.

Third Game I upped the piety at the start from 15 to 35 (starting Be piety) and character plays more stably. Freeze is immediately offered for a second spell and a versatile kit. I get offered throw frost and hit ** early on D2 which I immediately take. Ignite poison is offered my first kill into D3. I'm XL 4 and only have 3 spell levels, and I pass.

D4 has dowan and duvessa which i don't want to fight. I try but my freeze isn't strong enough at the moment. A bullfrog skeleton I don't have good answers to at the moment, but its also not a threat and i chop it down with a +0 flail of protection. I hit *** on D4 but die shortly thereafter chain confused by sigmund.

Next up I am offered searing tongue at lvl 1 and get my second gift on my first kill on D2, throw flame. I die to natasha after being slowed. This was probably avoidable, and I could have just jibbed the early game with a +2 short sword of distortion.

My final run i decide to give myself a potion of brilliance in addition to 35 piety. I want to be able to power though a fight against a unique. Sting is my starting gift and throw frost is offered on the last mob of D1. I decide to pass for now, i have too many long range spells. Second mob of D2 is terrance and I see another 2 !brilliance on the floor, so I quaff mine and get to work with sting. Its not very effective, but I do bring him down eventually, after my potion expired >.>

On D3 I equip two rings of magical power and immediately learn throw frost. I !brilliance to throw frost an ogre down, netting me level 6 and access to the inner flame spell. I pick it up, I have some spell levels to spare.I don't try to fight sigmund.

*** is aquired on d4. I encounter sigmund and a quokka and think this may be an excellent place to try out inner flame. The quokka resists my first attemt to hex it and I promptly blow my self up and die.

I'm a supporter of the idea that bookless vehu start can be a thing. To some extent however, I feel like I said my piece in the thread, that text follows. After I wrote it I figured out I could just wizmode and satisfy my curiosity about bookless zealot vehu. I'll probably have some fun with it over the next couple days and I'll likely relate my experience. That sounds more fun and constructive rather than arguing about the idea in the abstract. My two cents follows, and to some extent I find it distasteful to be this combative:

I'm rather ambivalent that the patch was rejected (entirely expected), but I really wish you would have addressed it from the perspective of bookless spellcaster that recieves RNG damage spells start rather than zealot start. The interesting thing about the proposal isn't being able to pick vehu at start. The interesting aspect is the bookless spellcaster.

Specifically, every reasonable user of Vehumet already has a book. This character doesn't. Thus, the following statement is not true:

Be and CK were kept because their D:1 play is substantially changed from normal play, compared to just finding and taking the god early...None of that's really the case for Vehumet

The D1-L1 experience for this specific character type would be different than anything else that currently exists in the game barring an odd wanderer start who stumbles across Vehu on d1, or the random altar on d2. Even this is a stretch as the wanderer will have other tools.

That having been said, I understand that its the rest of the baggage that goes along with zealot starts that is the dealbreaker. I don't have a good way of squaring this circle, none has been proposed in this thread. The nice thing about vehu zealot is its really simple to implement.


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commented Aug 23, 2017

I'm closing this PR as it looks like this feature will not be merged without a substantial overhaul (and even then it seems unlikely).

@amalloy amalloy closed this Aug 23, 2017
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