Some warlock QoL+flavor suggestions

The harnessing and manipulation of nether.
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Ephemeralis
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Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:29 am

Some warlock QoL+flavor suggestions

Post by Ephemeralis » Thu Jan 07, 2021 6:43 am

Gave warlock a deep try over the past week or so and have been enjoying it so far, but there's a few suggestions I'd like to make just to make playing them a little smoother.

Make a combination command that opens a specified number of channels and queues a cast. I know you can do this with aliases, but if you're trying to conserve energy, there is a lot of toggling "sorcery" going on constantly. This could be worked in a similar manner to how EVOKE functions in GS4 - EVOKE SORCERY 1 to immediately open 1 channel of sorcery and then queue a raw cast on current target, or EVOKE SORCERY 2 to do the same with 2 channels, etc. Could also expand it to cast spells by supplying them as an optional argument - EVOKE SORCERY 2 BTEND would queue opening two channels then casting sorcery in the one command, for example. Not explicitly required, but would significantly reduce the control burden for regular combat with the class without needing aliases.

Another alternative could be a brand new set of aliases for the raw cast - LASH causing the level 1 channel+cast, BLAST causing the level 2 channel+cast and OBLITERATE causing the level 3 channel+cast effect. This could be a good vector for a new ability path if you wanted to go down that route as well.

If you wanted to tier this convenience as an upgrade, perhaps it could be linked to some form of "improved sorcery focus" or something of the sort?

Provide a notification when Shadow Cloak is starting to wane, similar to the kind of warning you get when distyr/lanterns/torches are running out of fuel. SC has a habit of just randomly exposing you to the world if you forget to refresh it, which isn't very fun if you're trying to play up the paranoid sorcerer archetype. Very easily solved by having it show maybe three warnings - one at 1 minute left, another at 30 seconds, and another at 10 seconds.

Shadow Cloak also gets a bit funky with pronouns. The description for a shadow cloaked someone is "it", but if they're channeling or are dirty, they show up as he/she, etc.

Consider making Shadow Cloak a sustained effect, drawing its energy cost across the duration instead of being a once-off cast. This could be an affinity bonus or something perhaps, but being able to keep it up indefinitely would be a definite (harhar) boon.

That's all for the QoL changes. Below are some flavor ones which I think might be cool, but do note that my understanding of sorcery is not great from an OOC standpoint, so take them with a grain of salt:

Do more with sorcery foci. At the moment, foci feature in exactly none of the ability or raw cast messages to suggest they're the conduit through which the sorcerer is channeling the nether. Consider including them (if visible, or from a close body part if covered) in some of this messaging. Shadow Cloak exists for the people who might not want to let on where/what their focus is.

Offer more sorcery foci, potentially making them craftable by players, or perhaps embedded into any object of their choosing. As far as I know currently, there's one sorcery focus you can buy from the scholar's guild and that's it. Have to wait for merchants or other events if they have them at all. It could make for an interesting ability path to have warlocks attempt to flood an item with nether while keeping it stable (somehow) in a similar manner to what is suggested with the current available focus item, or maybe offer a new rare material that can be cast or carved into rings, gauntlets, or perhaps even the barrels of firearms, an especially rare gemstone found in lockboxes, so on, so forth.

Ephemeralis
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Re: Some warlock QoL+flavor suggestions

Post by Ephemeralis » Fri Jan 15, 2021 5:14 am

More suggestions! Thanks for applying the Shadow Cloak notification, super helpful.

Give bonuses for killing/finishing off enemies with Essence Leech. Holding channels uses a boatload of energy over time, and it'd be neat if killing a target with essence leech damage doubled the energy return or increased it a little bit by a flat amount. Given the cooldown on EL, you'd have to deliberately try to make this happen on most mobs.

You could also have a corpse killed in this manner referred to as a "husk" instead of a corpse. Nothing changes about how the corpse is interacted with, just that it appears shriveled and husky instead of corpse-like.

Essence Leech's flavor could also use a bit of work. It currently appears barely different to an ordinary raw cast attack from the 1st person POV - is this intentional?

Essence Leech use:
Inky black tendrils lash out from your form!
An inky black tendril lashes at a mossy shambler! Ranged(d10000):93 vs Dodge(d10000(-80x)(-40!)):123494 = 382757
(35%)

Suggested:
You sling an inky-black coil at a mossy shambler, the strands banding outwards into a ghostly arc as they attach and begin to drain away its essence.
An inky-black coil attaches to a mossy shambler, ghostly strands pulsating from their length as its essence is slowly drained away.

Consider having different imagery for the various sorcery channel cast attacks. 1 channel is an inky-black glob, 2 channels is an inky-black glob... presumably 3 channels is as well. It'd be nice to have different messaging to suggest the level of channeling going on here, even though you can sort of gleam the level based on the overall damage.

Level 1 could remain an inky-black glob, level 2 could be a 'lash of living shadow', level 3 could be a 'seething torrent of pure nether', or something of the sort.

Ephemeralis
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Re: Some warlock QoL+flavor suggestions

Post by Ephemeralis » Thu May 19, 2022 10:01 am

I return with more warlock suggestions! This time in the realm of abilities.

Phantom Sight

IC: Learned during the Dominion's experimentation with sorcery, this augmentation briefly alters the sorcerer's sight by forcing ambient nether to coalesce in their eyes. While causing some minor damage to them in the process, the technique allows the bearer to gain a curious form of low-light vision as they gaze through a mirage-like haze. Some scholars postulate this experience to be close to how the nethrim perceive our world. Prolonged exposure in this fashion is said to fade the color away from one's eyes.

OOC: Gain a limited form of low-light vision, allowing you to perceive both living and dead creatures in areas normally too dark to see in. You won't be able to make out many features of the surrounding environment with this active, but you will gain a reroll on checks to identify hidden targets in the area. Causes a -25 hit to Perception while active and blinds you in areas of daylight.

Dire Resonance

IC: It is a well known fact among scholars of sorcery that the world is privy to certain locations bearing great concentrations of ambient nether. What is less known is that for reasons beyond even the understanding of Rook Parlour, these wells can be 'coaxed' to resonate upon the same psychic frequency as standard ESP crystals, producing a horrifically warbled and ghastly voice with enough concentration and training.

OOC: While at a nether well, spend a significant amount of energy and sanity to broadcast an entirely anonymous (save for people rightly assuming a sorcerer has made it) message on the ESP network in a wretched screeching reminiscent of a nethrim. The sanity of all those who hear it will be slightly taxed, though to nowhere near the degree that yours will for making the message in the first place. You will be stunned for a decent length of time after forcing the resonance and everybody in the area with the nether well will experience some unusual feedback, as well as anyone with an active attunement to sorcerous conduits potentially witnessing a glimpse of your visage.

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Lexx416
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Re: Some warlock QoL+flavor suggestions

Post by Lexx416 » Fri May 20, 2022 9:22 am

Ephemeralis wrote: Thu May 19, 2022 10:01 am I return with more warlock suggestions! This time in the realm of abilities.

Dire Resonance

IC: It is a well known fact among scholars of sorcery that the world is privy to certain locations bearing great concentrations of ambient nether. What is less known is that for reasons beyond even the understanding of Rook Parlour, these wells can be 'coaxed' to resonate upon the same psychic frequency as standard ESP crystals, producing a horrifically warbled and ghastly voice with enough concentration and training.

OOC: While at a nether well, spend a significant amount of energy and sanity to broadcast an entirely anonymous (save for people rightly assuming a sorcerer has made it) message on the ESP network in a wretched screeching reminiscent of a nethrim. The sanity of all those who hear it will be slightly taxed, though to nowhere near the degree that yours will for making the message in the first place. You will be stunned for a decent length of time after forcing the resonance and everybody in the area with the nether well will experience some unusual feedback, as well as anyone with an active attunement to sorcerous conduits potentially witnessing a glimpse of your visage.

I quite like this, but I'm struggling to come up with a way to balance what basically amounts to "attack everyone listening to the pendant". I like the idea that there's a chance to discover who the culprit is - perhaps for a while (a couple of bells) after this ability is used, someone channeling SORCERY can STUDY a nether well to potentially (at the cost of sanity) get a visage of the most recent person to use this ability at a nether well.

I'd also maybe have it "weaken" the well temporarily, so that it can't be used for this (or other) abilities for a short bit after (a bell or so maybe)?
"You hear the Woses, the Wild Men of the Woods... Remnants of an older time they be, living few and secretly, wild and wary as beasts."

Ephemeralis
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Re: Some warlock QoL+flavor suggestions

Post by Ephemeralis » Fri May 20, 2022 6:37 pm

It'd have to be a TINY sanity loss - like 0.05 or something with a high chance to resist it. The idea is to highlight that it's scary and otherworldly and thus hopefully not used for something lightly, rather than to mass grief everyone online with a sanity thwack.

Definitely should put that well on a global cooldown for further use of the ability though, for sure.

jerc
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Re: Some warlock QoL+flavor suggestions

Post by jerc » Tue May 31, 2022 10:19 am

Some ideas I've had kicking around in my head far too long:

Echoing Whisper Improvements
  • Increase duration with sorcery skill.
  • Warn when connection is about to break.
  • Make it dismissable.
  • Auto-renew with any available samples matching the current target.
    Making it dismissable is important for this one to make sense. Don't want to be forced to drain your entire supply of samples for one person.
    Would probably also need an "Another sample was consumed to maintain the link." message.
  • It would be really cool if we could combine samples in a jar or canteen so we could store them for people "in bulk."
    Judging from how finicky samples are (e.g. can't even transfer from one vial to another without "invalidating" them), I suspect this might be tricky from an implementation standpoint.
Blood Signature Improvements
  • Let us take our own blood samples.
    Pretty sure I've "bug"'d this in the past, but it would be really nice to be able to do. I've frequently wanted to keep some samples of myself on hand to give out to new warlocks as a kind of "reach out once you learn to use this properly" thing.
  • Make it do a bit of damage. Seems silly that I can fill my bags with samples from someone and have them not pass out from blood loss.
  • Some sort of blood/arcana crossover, for example: draw occult, but with blood instead of chalk (or blood-dipped chalk?) for increased duration for the sample-ee

jerc
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Re: Some warlock QoL+flavor suggestions

Post by jerc » Tue Jun 07, 2022 9:18 am

Another small one:

Can the familiar get a wilderness speed boost? I feel like they shouldn't be slowed down by terrain, being ghosty and all. It's annoying being slowed down by the little guy when riding between locations, and it's also annoying having to merge/detach him all the time and deal with the sanity/energy loss. I'd love to be able to simply let him float along.

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Rias
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Re: Some warlock QoL+flavor suggestions

Post by Rias » Fri Oct 14, 2022 10:35 am

jerc wrote: Tue Jun 07, 2022 9:18 amAnother small one: Can the familiar get a wilderness speed boost?
Per the changelog: Shadow Familiars no longer potentially slow down their group's travel speed in the wilderness.
<Rias> PUT ON PANTS
<Fellborn> NO

jerc
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Re: Some warlock QoL+flavor suggestions

Post by jerc » Tue Nov 15, 2022 11:45 am

Walkie-Whisperie

Infuse a talisman with a blood sample, producing a multi-use target for Echoing Whisper.

Each use consumes 10 soul shreds.

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