Raising the cost of components for creating undead

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Levine
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Re: Raising the cost of components for creating undead

Post by Levine » Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:56 am

Some aside-points before I approach the topic - I don't see a problem with raising undead for a group PK. Say, if someone chose to pick a fight with someone who is willing and able to command a troupe of undead, then it's simply a gamble that you'd be making.

On a similar note, I also don't see a problem with raising undead for assistance to help you with an area, when you're playing solo. For a young evil - and I'm sure many of you see how sparse the population generally is on the who list, especially during low-traffic times - this helps. Your animates also steal experience from you when they fight with you (I don't think the party bonus, if any, makes much of a difference), and they can be horrible, dreadful liabilities (no darkvision, kissed by Misfortune and maimed on a leg, etc) so I honestly think the pros and cons are pretty balanced. Being inconsiderate and littering the lowbie areas with dismissed minions and hardcore farming with undead is a different issue, and I think we can all spot exploitative abuse when we see it.

To add to that, when an individual chooses to raise dead, if not done with discretion, there's a risk that a horde of anti-animate extremists would be after him/her. That's the raiser's gamble. It's why I try not to drag out undead minions, even if it were a pet, because you never know when a trigger-happy character might go for murdering the abomination, and for a pet - without OOC permission.

To get back on topic:
Dranso wrote:Critical failures could be added instead of taking away certain races from the animate dead list. For instance, if you try and animate a corpse of any power you have the chance to fail out right, be successful, or be successful and have that creature turn on you and attack.
I like this. Thank you, Dranso, this is a very good suggestion. The chance of failure is a great way to establish levels within the spell. It's flavourful and adds to RP.

Don't think there's a need to take away the races currently available, unless they're obviously undead (which then seems like code housekeeping), or elemental/without a skeleton. The quest would be good for this, instead of having to housekeep all the races that currently exist, so that the responsibility can fall on players as a temporary/long-term solution. I've definitely misdirected my spell at the wrong corpse and raised a lacedon before, and the whole party called me out on it, so :/ pretty sure there are community-driven checks in place to remedy the plight of the misinformed/malicious abusers.
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Re: Raising the cost of components for creating undead

Post by Gwain » Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:42 am

I really like the idea of traumatic casting failures being chanced into the mix. I'm still against making undead mindflayers remain as they currently appear though and would prefer having the cost of creating them increased or halving their effectiveness in pk situations, ie having their abilities not carry over into undeath or making the cost to create them specifically much more expensive, that way if you got to have an army of them, you got to pay with an arm or leg.

Another idea would be to introduce tiers of undead spells that could have different costs for creating undead of higher qualities at different pricing for each tier. Higher quality undead with special abilities could cost more and be more of a luxury item for casters to utilize. While lower quality undead like the creature pets sold in stores could cost significantly less to create with the lower tier spell.
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Re: Raising the cost of components for creating undead

Post by Skylar » Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:41 pm

The animated undead forms of races are meant to just be zombies as I understood it. A very select few abilities should carry over for zombies. What are the mind flayer undead doing?
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Re: Raising the cost of components for creating undead

Post by Isolrem » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:01 pm

Isn't the IC consequence a better solution? We could make these reanimated creatures kill-on-sight for Kelemvorites and certain other faiths, without the normal hoops you have to go through for PK and pet-killing. You can even band together to explicitly hunt down the undead illithids you hate so much :)
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Re: Raising the cost of components for creating undead

Post by Areia » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:55 pm

Isolrem wrote: Isn't the IC consequence a better solution? We could make these reanimated creatures kill-on-sight for Kelemvorites and certain other faiths, without the normal hoops you have to go through for PK and pet-killing. You can even band together to explicitly hunt down the undead illithids you hate so much :)
They're already free game, in fact. The PvP rules allow animated corpses as an exception to the general rule that lots of RP and OOC consent is necessary, though attacking them, especially in their owners presence, will probably entail a violent response. :)
Skylar wrote: The animated undead forms of races are meant to just be zombies as I understood it. A very select few abilities should carry over for zombies. What are the mind flayer undead doing?
They're essentially immune to magic (including turning), like their living illithid counterparts.

I'd amend my previous post here by noting that damage isn't necessarily what's doing it for the illithids. I made a mistake there. I was thinking of the immunities though when I mentioned the aboleths etc., because they're similar to the illithids in that respect.

In short, what makes them imbalanced in my view is the overwhelming resistances (essentially immunities) they possess. Magic can't touch them, and that's a little over the top for what are meant to be, in the end, minor grunts. Even melee characters with what I'd consider top-level gear and skills would be well toasted before they get through six of them, but magic-y types like clerics, wizards, etc., mobs as well as PCs, are hopeless even in groups.
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Re: Raising the cost of components for creating undead

Post by Thurgan » Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:46 pm

Maybe I am missing something here... but, my last encounter with undead Illithids was me fire storming and sunbursting them and their owner into submission. Sunburst obviously hurt them, but fire storm did just as well. So while they might be immune to some things....I wouldn't have ever know from that experience.

I say leave it as is. Or if the staff really wants to do something I would say only a minimum raise of the component cost. I would leave the mechanics alone. I don't see it as an issue, and I am sure it is a decent crutch that evils lean on at times.

I get more upset about it being increasingly hard to find brightstones than this, this doesn't affect the temperature of the water in my pool.

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Re: Raising the cost of components for creating undead

Post by Simossus » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:09 pm

Talos wrote:The illithids seem like potential abuse, what other races are potentially abused? Raising the levels of these mobiles (making them too powerful to raise) to better match the threat posed by such races seems the easiest solution.
Multiple mobs were tweaked as a result of determining the mob's special abilities. The result now as a player is the quest to attain a proficient level of skill in the spell to attempt to rid my world of that 'too much latent power for you to handle' echo.

Was the burn rate/usage of the component in question altered as well? I've had some questionable experiences with it lately.

Code: Select all

You begin to chant.
You lack the components for this spell.
You get a black onyx gem from a fringed leather backpack.
You begin to chant.
A black onyx gem glows brightly, then disappears in a puff of smoke!
You make a dire corby male rise from the grave!
The animated corpse of a dire corby male now follows you.
That's one use for a single component with a cost of ~6 platinum.

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Re: Raising the cost of components for creating undead

Post by Vaemar » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:18 pm

I would like to add, a thing I did not mention before: our extensive possibilities to command undead appeared quite attractive for new users, when promoting the game. It seems that MUDs where one can play with such flexibility and creativity a necromancer are not that many. So I beg some caution with nerfs to animate dead, the cornerstone of the necromancy, or any kind of modifications that makes it excessively exclusive, and by exclusive I mean extremely difficult or expensive to access for a new user, in particular, so much that they may decide to play a necromancer elsewhere instead of here.

I wonder, about onyx gem wear-out rate, since in the last weeks I had used them and they did not seem to last much shorter than before this thread. But I have merely used two on my wizzies, definitely not as many as Simossus. There is however the possibility this is some sort of bug, mistake or oversight, since it really seems way too much to burn 6 platinum with a single casting.

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Re: Raising the cost of components for creating undead

Post by Gwain » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:58 am

I for one support the changes to this spell. I don't really see the downside.
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Re: Raising the cost of components for creating undead

Post by Althasizor » Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:53 am

I've never actually had a problem with animate dead. Now mind I've never cast the spell myself, but I've never run into it and thought "Wow, if they didn't have a zombie with them, I would've won that". You could spend 6 platinum on a rare component to raise one corpse that turn undead can one-shot, or you could play a cleric with Conjure Greater Elemental and run around with a tank that hits harder than fighters. For that reason alone I'm not on board with more nerfs to this spell, but that's just my two cents!
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Re: Raising the cost of components for creating undead

Post by Issytrix » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:08 am

I vote for a more RP related solution, because RP...

Maybe we require that there be more RP involved in raising undead of certain races or power levels and just have the spell logged like Gate and Teleport. (And other things). I know most people use undead when soloing, but it could add a flavor to the character choice of necromancer if there is a needed RP and/or some RP consequence to creating undead; Such as a smell or mark upon the creator that /some/ characters might come to understand spells "Necromancer" when noticed. (It isn't FR, but in Guardians of the Lost by Margaret Weis when someone used 'void magic' they would get pustules and lesions forming all over them. So perhaps something of a similar theme?)

We already apply RP related requirements to a lot of various things that take easy code commands to handle, such as faithings and even PvP situations. So maybe the best bang for the buck would be to agree on RP requirements for necromancers to meet (in their own unique ways) in order for them to raise undead and in order to give other players a chance to notice that someone might be experimenting with that dark magic.

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Re: Raising the cost of components for creating undead

Post by Yemin » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:28 am

I've read this thread several times and had a good think about it.

I don't believe there is a problem with the spell as is, apart from havin the wrong resistance type on some NPCs. It may not be what's on SRD, but as of yet, we don't have a create undead spell to make those tougher undead anyway, so if you're willing to go kill a tougher NPC to make a tougher servetor, have at it.

At most the component should be on par with jacinths and gate spell / starstones and astral walk.

Animate dead is a core spell to a type of wizard and 2 or 3 different coded faiths.Increasing the cost won't really fix the perceived problem. A small increase won't have an effect and a large increase will only increase the grind for money which in some cases like drow or other low level players / characters is a negative experience when I recall my own past with that cenario.

Like many edge cases that differ in DND when transfered here, it makes sense that a monster would have its natural attacks from an RP standpoint, it being muscle memory and all. If a human zombie can remember enough to walk, pretty sure an illithid with appendages it was born with can remember enough to flail around with tentacles.

As for a case for abuse, I find it hard to agree this is a form of abuse, when similar or stronger pets could be achieved with a little elbow grease into charm / dominate spells or forward thinking with the monster summon spell. Which btw, either have no components or a very cheap one.
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Re: Raising the cost of components for creating undead

Post by Vaemar » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:43 am

From my point of view six platinums for a zombie, if it is not a bug of course, means that people will be less inclined to play a necromancer here, and this will translate in a loss of either potential users, or potential necromancers, and therefore, since we could definitely use more of both categories, in a loss for the game as a whole.

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Re: Raising the cost of components for creating undead

Post by Gwain » Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:28 pm

The easiest response I could think of is making those characters that are guilded and coded necromancers immune to the change or giving them a slight boost in spell skill over other classes. Otherwise I can't see how we're going to lose potential necromancer players unless you're not talking about the guild and are talking about clerics and other wizard classes that use the spell other than coded necromancers?
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Re: Raising the cost of components for creating undead

Post by Vaemar » Mon Aug 21, 2017 6:40 pm

The boost to guilded necromancers certainly would not hurt, as it would make real necromancers a more effective class. Right now in fact I feel that what a necromancer gets is probably not enough to make up for the loss of illusion spells, like phantasmal armor, phantasmal killer or invisibility, only to name three classics.

But the modification is still harmful, nonetheless, since it means, practically, that in order to raise an undead a player will need to "work" more time to farm coin. This increase will definitely dissuade some people from pursuing that path, and, if they are interested mostly in that aspect of the game, from simply playing here. And that, in my humble opinion, is not worth any benefit such a change brings, if there are any to begin with.

In fact the idea that increasing the cost would limit unbalance in the mechanic is very arguable. What it will do, more likely, is to increase the inclination of people who use animate dead to use the component to raise powerful undead, instead than weaker ones, thus encouraging to find out and exploit unbalanced aspects of the spell, rather than discouraging such behaviour. And this is especially bad since, rather than older players, whose main alts have often money to burn, it will hurt the most new characters, especially new characters created by new players, less familiar on how to farm coin efficiently, while the "offenders" may be affected only marginally.

And it does not end here. Such a change also creates further unbalances. In the first place with other summoning spells, which have cheaper components than those for animate dead, while the strength of the summoned creature is often higher. Moreover more expensive undead should also put under scrutiny the rather lenient rules toward the creatures created with them. If the costs of the components has become so high is it still all right that an unaccompanied undead can be killed without triggering PK engagement rules? Probably things should be reconsidered in this regard, since now these animated minions are way more precious for the owner who has "worked" for them, investing a higher amount of their real time, in order to raise the coin necessary to purchase the now very fragile components. In addition to that the easiness with which undead created with animate dead can be lost should also be reconsidered as well. I once lost an undead because it had been attacked while I was moving into another room, with no real chance to avoid it in any way. Certainly this aspect of the spell, in front of a higher cost, is now more unbalanced and undeservingly punishing.

The impression is that increasing the cost of the components will only discourage the use of undead in general, and for new characters in particular, rather than providing any real benefit for the game or its balance.

P.S.
My post deals exclusively with the original proposal, i.e. raising the cost of animate dead components, either on the price list or by making the components last fewer uses. The additional proposals, such as making raising powerful undead require a higher skill level, are pretty reasonable and even positive, since they encourage and reward who is seriously committed to use the spell.

P.P.S.
Also this post assumes that the proposal, in its original form, has been approved or may be approved. Which is hard to say without an official confirmation from the staff and given that the proposal has not been archived.

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