Emomancy, in depth

Discussion in 'Realm of the Diggle Gods' started by jhffmn, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. jhffmn

    jhffmn Member

    So I decided to roll an emo and I was so disappointed by the final spell I had to make a post. Let me start by saying that I do like the spells in this game a great deal. Most of them are rather difficult to use or do interesting things or are inefficient. The exceptions to this rule are pyrokenisis being a straight forward nuke and the few efficient dots (artic vortex/recursive curse/eldritch inhabitation). A personal favorite of mine is rune of exploding, that spell can carry you for a long while and isn't straight forward to use. Most lines have a decent damage spell, or more than one. Astrology being the only line that's truly in bad shape. All of the others are passable as primary spell lines. Fleshsmithing might have it a bit rough, but hey you can rush the pet and miasma clears rooms. Golemancy can wall up and piddle things away with thaumite swarm even if it scales poorly.

    All of the lines also add some degree of utility. Pyromancy has a fantastic low hanging pet right after a fantastic damage spell. With necromancy you have the massive lifesteal buff and mark. Mathemagics has teleport. Etc. Each skill line has a good deal of interesting things. The exception being astrology whose good buff is also granted (permanently) by a common beverage. Also, astrology sucks.

    Anyway, I mention this because I like the design of the spell lines. Most of the offensive spells are not just magic damage arrows like many games, they actually do something interesting. The lines also add game changing utility. Now onto emomancy.

    1) Love will teleport us apart. This spell teleports an enemy to a random location nearby. It's cheap and it comes in handy. It doesn't trivialize content yet it's still useful throughout the game. Great spell and great design.

    2) The cure. This spell heals and cleanses you and gives you a minor long lasting stacking debuff. The heal isn't too strong for the mana cost nor does it scale well without spell power, unlike say psionics, so I can't see a warrior build making use of this spell. The spell is quite useful if you feel compelled to make an emo, vegan, necromancer, vampire like I did =p. How can you resist that combination thematically? Again, this spell is just fine. Cleansing necro and vegan debuffs is quite strong.

    3) My chemical explosion. This spell works much like obvious fireball. It hits the first enemy in it's path then creates a acid cloud. This spell is where emomancy starts to fall apart as a primary line. The spell, quite frankly is terrible. It's difficult to use as it hits the first thing in it's path. It does lack luster damage that doesn't scale well, it'll take 3 or 4 casts to kill things as you get deeper. And it costs way too much, it's base cost is 24 and it's reduced by a .15 modifier. If for some reason you decide to use this spell to play through the game, you'll be wearing black eyeliner and cutting yourself in no time. The cost should be lower, in the range of base 16 damage with a min of 6 or so. And the initial damage should scale to magic power with a modifier of .4 at least.

    4) Sigil of Whatever. This is a pretty interesting spell as it does a number of things. It creates a trap on the ground that lasts for 20 turns. The mine doesn't disappear after being stepped on, so can hit as many enemies as step on it. It does very minor damage. It debuffs dodge/counter/block. It paralyzes for one turn. And it causes enemies to no longer be aggressive.

    Unfortunately, the spell doesn't accomplish much. The 'lull' effect of the spell does not reduce their aggro radius, so placing one will not allow for a retreat. The paralyze effect is 1 turn and consumed the turn they walked onto the mine. So if you place one in front of you, you will not get a free attack unfortunately. The spell also costs a reasonable amount of mana. The net effect is, you'll never actually want to use this spell which is a shame except maybe to lower counter attack rate as a melee. And if you are melee you should have gone psionics anyway, which is basically the same set but better and better geared for melee.

    There are two ways I'd fix this spell. One is to fix the lull component, which would also help fix the issues with the last spell in the line. The lull should reduce the enemy's sight radius to 0 for a number of turns if that's possible with the code. That way when the enemy forgets you, they won't immediately become aggressive towards you again and will wander off.

    The other way to make the spell better, in a different direction would be to increase the duration of the paralyze to 2 turns. That'd give you one free attack against the enemy. Anyway, I like the spell, I'd just like to see it made viable.

    5) Mark of the black eyeliner. As if you needed another reason to pair this set with necromancy. This provides you a constant buff that provides 2 resist to multiple resistances including necro and 2 armor absorption. It is what it is. If you are going necroeconomics you are going to want this. If you aren't you probably aren't going emo anyway. It's useful and fine where it is.

    6) Depressing Elemental Blast. This spell fires a beam of existential damage that pacifies foes in a straight line. True to it's name, after using this spell you will become very depressed. This spell is not only one of the most expensive spells in the game. It also does very little damage and has an effect that doesn't really work. The lull effect of this spell suffers from the same problem as the sigil of whatever. Enemies immediately become aggressive again. If you use this spell on an adjacent enemy that enemy will still attack you. Three things need to happen to this spell. It needs to cost less. Much less. Half as much. It needs to scale twice as much. And the lull effect needs to reduce an enemy's aggro radius. This spell is so bad...

    What is it supposed to do? Is it supposed too be a primary damage spell? It's too weak and expansive for that. Is it supposed to be a utility spell? It really fails on all counts. All it does right now is drain copious amounts of mana.

    In summary, emomancy is an interesting skill set. It pairs quite well with necromancy and the first skill provides utility. Unfortunately, half of the skills suffer from being not only not good but near useless. Almost any build would benefit from taking the similar yet more functional psionics set instead. For a necroeconomics build, you will want the cure and possibly mark of the black eyeliner depending on your luck with necro resist. For everyone else, take psionics instead.

    Also, I feel that thematically each point of emomancy should raise your resistance to existential damage. Perhaps to balance the debuff from 'the cure' add -1 transmutation -1 necromancy and -1 astral resistance to the debuff.
    SkyMuffin likes this.
  2. J-Factor

    J-Factor Member

    Disagree about Emomancy needing a buff overall. My Chemical Explosion is more powerful than Fleshsmithing's miasma and easily clears zoos. Mark of the Black Eyeliner is just Astrology's Celestial Aegis except better in every way. If anything needs to be rebalanced it's Astrology.

    That said, I agree with your other points. I'd like the Sigil to last longer and perhaps reduce critical chance to make it more useful.
  3. jhffmn

    jhffmn Member

    Really, better than miasma? The database has it at 6 damage +.3 * spell power + acid burn VS. 8 +.4*spell power. Additionally you can't really aim it into a zoo. I suppose I haven't tried miasma yet so I don't know how that works functionally, but so far I find the spell to be totally lackluster. I was under the impression miasma could be cast anywhere.

    It takes me about 3 casts to kill some enemies with 48 spell power on floor 9.

    If you want AE damage for a zoo rune of exploding is worlds better, more damage and it's easier to get that deeper into the zoo.

    And mark of the black eyeliner isn't bad, but being better than something in astrology doesn't make it good =p. I just don't find mark worthwhile enough to justify something that deep in the otherwise meh skill line.
  4. medicvalues

    medicvalues Member

    going off of what you 2 have said mabye they should lower the amount of dot and give a paralising effect that last somewhere between 2-5 turns?
  5. J-Factor

    J-Factor Member

    Yes, miasma can be cast anywhere. The main reason it's better than miasma is the stacking DOT it applies every turn you're in the AOE. Compare the damage you receive every turn while in the AOE:

    My Chemical Explosion
    :dmg_acidic:6 + (0.3 * :magic_power:) + :dmg_acidic:3 + :dmg_acidic:2 * [number of turns in the AOE]

    :dmg_putrefying:8 + (0.4 * :magic_power:)

    At :magic_power:50 the 0.1 difference is only :dmg_acidic:5.

    It's bad for general exploring and single targets, just like miasma. That's one thing that Emomancy lacks, although I'd rather it stayed that way. Magic schools that can be used solo (Promethean) are the problem, not ones with clearly defined shortcomings (Mathemagic).
  6. Wootah

    Wootah Member

    According to the wiki, acid burn also induces bleeding... which is another dot. Haven't played emomancy yet, but from the wiki it sounded decent. I find myself using acid traps and then backing out of the zoo as they chase me (usually with the help of a teleport from ley lines) and the mobs just stumble through the clouds. Sure they don't die, but they are usually so weakened that they only take one melee hit to kill, which makes it easy to bat them out real fast.

    But the post is interesting. Soon as I finish the game I am gonna have to give emomancy a shot.
  7. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    Definitely agreed on one point: the 'pacify' effect is basically useless. At one point, the capstone of Ninjitsu was a mass Pacify effect, except it didn't do crap unless I also included a huge Sneakiness buff along with it. In the end, it just wasn't worthwhile to try to work around.
  8. FaxCelestis

    FaxCelestis Will Mod for Digglebucks

    Disagree. Most people think of astrology as a caster skill. While it is a wizard skill, sure, it's much better for "gish" style characters ("gish" being a D&D term for a fighter-mage). Radiant Aura, Syzygy, and Celestial Aegis provide solid resists, uncommonly resisted damage bonuses, and a defensive stunning proc, all of which give a gish some extra tools in his belt. Solar Inscription and Stars Align are okay, but I would prefer to replace them with something more like Power of Magic Steel, Hand of Belimwar, Celestial Circle, or Infernal Fires.
  9. Eadeve

    Eadeve Member

    Fully agree. Astrology is amazing coupled with a mostly melee/tanky set. Psionics are good too, but Psionics get old and boring.

    As for emomancy, its a decent set that provides some damage, some resist and some escape/crowd control. The anti-aggro spells have a few issues, but, altogether its a solid choice for a bit of everything.
  10. Cromwest

    Cromwest Member

    I just finished a game with Emomancy + Vegan Warrior + Necro + Blood Mage. All four work really well together. While I share your sentiment for the last spell in the line (it's hands down the most useless spell I've tried so far doing almost no damage with 68 spell power). The other spells definitely came in handy repeatedly.

    In the beginning of the game Love Will Teleport us Apart was essential for staying alive and was useful throughout the game untill I got Xeuclid's Translation from mathemagic. Its an effective way to keep named monsters away from you.

    The cure literally makes Necro work until you find enough necro resist to make it through the game which can take a while. It also works well with vegan because sometimes you accidentally hit an animal and it gets rid of Vegans nasty debuff. Its also good for traps which are alot more dangerous for mages than for warrior builds.

    My Chemical Explosion is a very good early game spell and I have no problem with spells starting out good early in the game and getting less useful later. It pairs well with Blood Mage since the AOE kills alot of monster clusters fast so you make your mana back so its almost free if you cast it at the right time (four or more enemies bunched together).

    While the first three definately loose their usefulness mid way through the next three are life savers for mages (well two are one is just a life saver for necro mages)

    Dampening Field of Angst is very situational but its awesome in the right situation. There are several spell casting enemies in the game like the mask guys that are very annoying and dangerous when they are hiding in the back of a crowd. That move alone combined with Xeuclid's Translation makes Lord Dredmor a total joke. If your teleporting around as a mage its really only the ranged enemies you have to worry about so this is a great mage utility spell.

    Sigil of Whatever is essential for softening up named monsters. If you can teleport around with Xeuclid's Translation and get named monsters to walk over the sigil craploads of times. I noticed I could get recursive curse to not get resisted as often when I got named monsters to walk over the sigil several times. (side note having a single resist stop the recursive curse dead in its tracks is one of the most frustrating parts of this game).

    Mark of the Black Eyeliner is again essential for necros and ok for other mages. This move right here makes my feel like Emomancy is to mages as Astrology is to warriors. Its nice to get a bunch of buffs and have them not be wasted because your ranged and dont get hit much anyway the magic resist is definitely handy if ranged monsters and traps are your main concern.

    The last spell is a total disappointment and completely pointless never put a point in it unless your going for the achievement and have nothing better to spend a point on.

    Over all Emo won't win you any battles by its self past floor four or five (thats when my chemical explosion starts to fade in usefulness) but the other spells will be very handy for a dedicated mage for the whole game and each point in it gives you a generic boost to mage stats just like any other mage skill so its determinately a solid secondary skill.
  11. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks


    the last spell in Emomancy is a disappointment.
    the last skill in Piracy is a disappointment.
    the last two skills in Demonology don't get much love.

    Maybe the GLG folk just changed their paradigm regarding capstone skills in RotDG?
  12. jhffmn

    jhffmn Member

    @cromwest I'm a little confused as to the use of sigil of whatever being used to reduce resistances. The debuff has a -1 to stats and it can only stack 2x according to the xml. Are you finding recursive curse getting resisted often? I suppose I'd just cast it again if it was resisted. I still remain unconvinced this spell has a real use outside of debuffing counter attack.

    I could see chemical explosion being useful early on given the static acid damage. The cost is still very steep. When I put a point into it I was further down in the dungeon.

    I didn't even mention dampening field. I'm glad you found a use for it. I could see it being used against the witch doctors later on. I never kept that on my spell bar casters don't tend to pose much of a threat. The exception being dredmor.
  13. Cromwest

    Cromwest Member

    To be honest I noticed the text on the wiki page too that said it only stacks twice. I don't know what the mechanic is then because when you put your cursor over a monster and it says what effects they are under ive seen sigil pop up like 10 times. I figured that means its in effect 10 times but who knows. All I know is that a normal casting of recursive curse often gets resisted even when I maxed out all my skills and had three castings of Zenzizenzizenzic up and a spell power approaching 70 and had decent gear on. The sigil seemed to make it get resisted less often.

    Stopping counter attacks alone is a huge deal for my build since I rely heavily on The Pact to take out groups of enemies too small or weak to justify using Tenebrous Rift. Since my only two warrior skills were Unarmed and Vegan Warrior it only works if i get back more health than I loose but named monsters mess that up since they do way more damage than I can get back if they keep counter attacking and recursive curse is too unreliable to use it by itself.

    When recursive curse actually does what its supposed to its a great single target assassination spell when it gets resisted on the first cast its a waste of mana which is more often than not.
  14. I found the sigil of whatever to actually be super valuable when dealing with monster zoos. Since it doesn't go away when it's triggered, you just drop it in front of a chokepoint and punch monsters to death while they stand on it and it reapplies on them over and over again. With the obvious Necro/Emo combo you'll probably have decent melee damage and you'll be in little danger since the Sigil is going to be tanking the monster's stats and occasionally causing it to miss a turn. Honestly I think the only spell that isn't really (or at least situationally) useful in the tree is the capstone ability. That thing definitely needs some work.
  15. Mr_Strange

    Mr_Strange Member

    Wait, the cannon spell is a disappointment? It's the center of all my pirate/ninja builds! (Throwing, Smithing, Piracy! Make shriken, spears, bolos, and eventually amass a stock of cannonballs to throw.)
  16. dbaumgart

    dbaumgart Art Director Staff Member

    The problem with those top level skills is that a player can rush them by level 2 or 3. If the skill is obviously better than any other out of the box then they'll just use that for the rest of the game. Which is boring.

    Top skills are perhaps best designed in a way that the player can "grow into" using them more optimally as they level up, read: scales effects with increase in stats. Unfortunately this was impossible to do with any stat except Magic Power until just now with the new scripting features added in this very latest patch (which isn't quite out) (and I'm waiting on scripting syntax documentation -- Nicholas!).

    And I do of course admit in general that they should be balanced better. And ideally every skill line would have 8 entries but it's not always easy to do this in a way that is mechanically and thematically interesting.
    Exile, BDSb, mining and 6 others like this.
  17. blob

    blob Member

    Are you planning to revisit the old skills to make them scale with other things in a later patch ? That would solve a lot of balance issue if done correctly.
  18. r_b_bergstrom

    r_b_bergstrom Will Mod for Digglebucks

    Maybe my data is out of date or flawed, but I could have sworn the last time I checked that there were only 3 skills that had 7 or more levels. Emomancy and Demonology at 7, and Werediggle at 8. Everything else had just 5 or 6.

    So I've been assuming that Emomancy and Demonology were intentionally a little underpowered at the top to compensate for giving more stats in the long run and having more powers to choose from, and that Werediggle got 8 only because it was compensating for locking away all your other activated abilities.
  19. dbaumgart

    dbaumgart Art Director Staff Member

    That's the vague plan. (Though, man, I've got a ton of stuff to do all over the place now.)

    Intentional. Right, yes!

    That was definitely the thought for Werediggle. With no other skills active, the player needs something to do.

    Y'all might have even seen some art that snuck in with the RotDG core update for extra spells in the base magic paths - didn't get around to implementing them due to focusing on increases 3-skill lines to 5 skills. One of these days I'll have to finish those up.
    Exile, r_b_bergstrom and Essence like this.
  20. blob

    blob Member

    Wow. It IS a ton of work for sure, and it is very impressive that you are working around the core of the game itself to improve the whole game. Few developpers would bother to do that, and we really appreciate it !

    Best of luck !