#3105 Extension overpowered (spells)


It seems to me that in 0.5.2 Extension is quite overpowered, especially in combination with Necromutation.

It is possible to cast Necromutation in the late game even with 4 or less skill in Necromancy and Trasmutation, by wearing a staff, 2 rings of wizardry and intelligence boosters. It will have a significant failure rate, but you can just try until it succeeds. Once it succeeds, it will reset satiation and give you foodlessness and you can then cast Deflect Missiles, Insulation, See Invisible, Control Teleport, Flight, Swiftness and Ozocubu's Armour. All these can be learned, cast and then forgotten with Selective Amnesia.
Forescry has only a 30 turn cap, so indefinite extension is possible but with glowing problems. Ring of Flames cannot be extended indefinitely

At this point, you can just cast Extension every time an effect expires, using free Sif Muna channeling (due to Necromutation foodlessness) to get the 5 MP to do so if necessary, and make all effects permanent.
You will get some glowing but not in the mutagenic range unless really unlucky. Even then, mutations will only rotting since you are in lich form.

Using Haste is somewhat problematic since Extension will extend Haste too. However, if Extension is cast twice just before Haste while wielding a staff of enchantment, this problem is minimized
Emergency Hastes will probably however cause some effects to fall apart.
Slow can be eliminated by wearing an amulet of resist slowing, which will cause Extension to not extend Slow.

Thus at the cost of 9 spell slots (for Extension and Selective Amnesia) you get:
- rC+ rN+++ rElec rPois SInv cTele Flight Swift DMsl MR+50
- AC+7 to AC+20 with 4+Ice/3 (Ozocubu) +3+Necro/6 (Necromutation)
- Occasionally EV+8 with Forescry
- Torment immunity
- Immunity to mutations (they cause rotting instead, and potions of heal wounds are much more plentiful than cure mutation)
- Foodless (free Sif Muna channeling! and no need for an amulet of the gourmand)
- Necromancy enhancement

With (somewhat) significant downsides:
- Vulnerable to dispel undead (the only serious problem, but only Shadow Fiends, Gloorx Vloq, necromancer ghosts and some Pan lords use it)
- Emergency Haste is likely to cause rotting/mutation issues
- Cannot use regeneration
- Cannot use Borgnjor's Revivification and Death's Door

And insignificant downsides:
- Cannot quaff potions (but you can just use a wand of healing for combat use and end the transformation to heal rotting)
- Cannot cast Alter Self, Berserker Rage, Blade Hands, Borgnjor's Revivification, Cure Poison, Death's Door, Dragon Form, Ice Form, Alistair's Intoxication, Passwall, Regeneration, Resist Poison, Spider Form, Statue Form, Stoneskin, Summon Horrible Things, Symbol of Torment, Tame Beasts
[the only useful ones in the late game are possibly Berserker Rage, Borgnjor's Revivification, Death's Door, Stoneskin and Summon Horrible Things]
- Cannot cure poison due to poison arrow
- Cannot eat mutagenic food
- Cannot wield holy wrath

Is this behaviour intended?
If so, it may make sense to make it less annoying (right now you need to set force_more_message, travel_stop_message, and manually cast Extension every time you get a prompt).
Otherwise, maybe something should be changed.
For instance, rolling spell success with Extension would prevent Necromutation with no necromancy skill, while increasing glowing to only allow a limited number of consecutive extension would prevent permanent effects without spell slots.


  • That seems like a lot of effort to set that up. Personally, if I were to have the means at my disposal to do it, why not be able to.

    Most people probably wouldn't have the healing items. the sif piety, and the correct spells until nearly the end of the game, where there is a chance of having dispel undead cast on them, ending it.

    IMO: not an issue unless it's easy to do, or everyone is doing it.

    -Tiki the Orc

  • Correction: Haste will almost always expire later than Ozucubu's Armour and Control Teleport. See Invisible is annoying because it doesn't have a warning message; however it has a cap of 100, so Ozucubu/cTele warnings will usually cover it as well.

    I think followers of Sif Muna are very likely to be able to do that at the end of a 3-rune playthrough, possibly before if they get Necromutation gifted earlier (the chance of which can be raised by doing a bit of training in Necromancy and/or Transmutations).
    At any rate, even without Necromutation you still get a lot of benefits: Deflect
    Missiles, Insulation, See Invisible, Control Teleport, Flight, Swiftness
    and Ozocubu's Armour, Resist Poison and Stoneskin.

    As for Dispel Undead, I'm not sure it make things much worse. It does at most 3d40 damage with range 5, which is less than 3d44 damage with range 5 done by Iron Bolt cast by an ancient lich. Shadow fiends only do 3d27 damage with it, while Gloorx Vloq does 3d25.

  • As a long-term solution, I would propose removing the Extension spell and making extension a power of a new Enchantment-focused god instead. This would mean you wouldn't have it with Sif. (You could also add rare scrolls of extension in that case.)

    More fundamentally, meta-spell effects work better as god powers than as spells themselves. Look at how great the new Vehumet range extension is. And I believe there is a similar consensus to remove the other main meta spell, SA.


  • KiloByte

    Uhm, "consensus to remove SA"??? So you'd have to farm Sif or some other god just to switch spells?

    That's a terrible idea.

    Speaking of Extension itself, if it were overpowered, everyone would be using it. Instead, what we see is people recasting Necromutation by itself, even though it's of much higher level.

  • Castamir-

    i can't speak for the devs but I believe the plan was to remove the spell, but add a rare single-use item (a scroll or misc. item) so non-Sifites could still do it, but not as easily. This would make the choice of which spells to memorize a more meaningful one, and, by making Sif's SA more valuable, allow the book gifts to be toned down a bit. Seems like a good idea to me.


  • dpeg

    Castamir: Nobody should speak of a "concensus" because we did never properly discuss it. So not only that a vague idea got the tag "agreed", it also arrived here mangked: if we remove the SA spell, then *of course* there has to be another way to get rid of spells. My hunch is just that forgetting of spells should not be a spell.

    On Extension: It's not the best spell, I agree. We will discuss it anyway when talking about the Enchantments split, perhaps already for 0.7.

  • Jude Brown
    Jude Brown

    Extension is tedious enough and has enough downsides by itself that it's not necessarily the best option. Sure, you can get the set-up detailed above, but it takes a considerable amount of effort to get to that point, in skills, collection of the relevant spells, god choice, etc. Sure, every spell can be tweaked, though; perhaps increasing extension's level, increasing the amount of contamination it gives, etc, are all viable options.

    Finally, I'm certainly not aware of any consensus to remove Selective Amnesia. I don't think it should be a spell, but just removing it on its own is certainly out of the question.

  • What if extension was shortened a bit for each spell it extended? Hitting the above setup would then be a matter of re-extending once every three turns till out of mana.

  • dpeg

    • summary: Extension overpowered --> Extension overpowered (spells)