Change to multiple Summons Framework

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Brumm
Posts: 2521

Change to multiple Summons Framework

Post#1 » Wed Jun 29, 2022 12:56 pm

Hello everybody,

sadly the summon builds completely took over ROT due to some design flaws I built into the summoning framework I wrote. That many summons are bad for the server performance - even if the server is taking the extra load incredibly well so far - and annoying for all players who don't like to drown in summons while gaming. Those players are still joining groups due to the increased rewards but like the overall experience much less which is sad. Not to mention that peoples are using summons to grind while being afk which is against our server rules.

So the question is what to do about it. I have some ideas but wanted to give you a say in this before I do any major changes. Please let me know what you think and share alternative suggestions if you have any. Here is what I am playing around with:

[*] Count Mirror Golem as a summon
[*] Count Diplomatic Leadership henchmen as summons
[*] Remove the feat Master Summoner (or change it so that it grants a bonus for summons)
[*] Change the level 10 feat of the Child of Night class so that it doesn't provide more summon slots. I am all ears if you have good suggestions but I prefer something that is not really summon related.

I know that not everybody likes what I am planning here but since summoner builds are pretty much dominating the game at this point we have to do something. Please try to keep the conversation civil. Maybe we can work out a better solution together as the suggestions I stated above.

PS: And yes. I know that all arcane casters are basically OP and that it is not just the summoners. I promise to focus on non caster builds as soon as I am done with this change.

Brumm

Aenain
Posts: 128

Re: Change to multiple Summons Framework

Post#2 » Wed Jun 29, 2022 1:05 pm

If you change the Master summoner to grant a summon bonus (damage/hp/ac/persistent buffs/whatever), then how about making the level 10 CoN bonus to be get that feat for free? They get the equivalent now.

TwinHaelix
Posts: 57

Re: Change to multiple Summons Framework

Post#3 » Wed Jun 29, 2022 4:50 pm

I think there are multiple issues at play here that have led to the summon-pocalypse. I fully support reworking them to take them down from being the absolute meta. Disclaimer: I too am using summons because they're too strong, and am guilty of being semi- or fully-AFK grinding for periods of time in the last few weeks.

Let's look at why summons are so desirable, in my opinion:

  • They last 24 hours in-game (48 minutes, assuming 2 real minutes = 1 server hour).
  • They are strong enough to have a real presence in a fight (instead of dying immediately or being exclusively a damage sponge). They do decent damage, and have good defensive stats and regen.
  • With the exception of Mirror Golem, they can be buffed up the wazoo to make them even stronger.
  • Child of Night, which gives an extra slot AND two very good summons, is compatible with literally any spellcasting class, making it an obvious inclusion in practically any build that's not a 36-levels-in-base-class variety.
  • Summons auto-acquire targets, which strongly supports AFK behavior.
I don't know how complicated it would be to adjust the companion AI, but I think a lot of the problem could be addressed by just forcing the summoner to call targets for their pets. There is already the feat to call targets for pets, so one option would be to make pets default to follow mode, and grant every character the "call target" feat by default the same way that everyone gets the "recall summons" feat.

I also think that master summoner should not give a summon slot, but should instead act as a strong buff to summons. I'm not sure what the best implementation would be -- either some AC/AB/HP/Damage buffs, or something like Epic Animal Companion where caster level is increased for the purposes of summons.

Finally, I think a nice way to handle the RP allies would be to merge the RP ally system with Epic Grandstand. Make it so talking to a faction rep sets your summon type (Trinity guard, Dwarf, or Purple Dragon) and then the Grandstand feat summons that ally -- and uses a summon slot accordingly. You could still have it scale based on the RP tier acquired, making it a worthwhile progression for any character to work towards.

kc2345
Posts: 856

Re: Change to multiple Summons Framework

Post#4 » Wed Jun 29, 2022 11:28 pm

Hi all,

While I do agree that summons are out of control, I think the proposed measures are just going to lead to the following:

Since everyone except warlocks are going to be limited to just 1 summon slot, arcanes are going to stick to their Lich (since PM is basically a must-have) and drop golem feats for epic warding, while other classes will either use an Epic Gate or the RP summon once it's high enough. This devalues the variety of different summons we have available as people are just going to use their best one.

Moreover, making "Master Summoner" and CoN10 boost summons is going to be very tough to balance. Too weak and nobody is going to bother (especially arcanes who use a basically invincible Lich anyhow that cares nothing for AB, AC, attack damage or durability boosts), and making it too strong disproportionately benefits warlocks with their multi-summon design.

What I am thinking of is a more top-down approach, where we limit all classes (minus warlocks) to 3 minions (2 summon slots and an animal companion slot), preventing the current scenario where some builds can get 4-5 minions by stacking RP companions and shadow sims/minotaurs on top of their existing 3-4 summons by doing the following

1) Leave Master Summoner as-is. This should be the only way to get a 2nd summon slot unless you're a warlock who picks the summoner path.

2) CoN Vampire is changed to use the animal companion slot - and as such, you only get 1. This prevents stacking with the Mirror Golem or other animal companions while still keeping the flavor and value of CoN, especially for classes like Bard and FS who do not get an animal companion otherwise. Add a bonus CoN feat at CoN 4 and 8 to compensate for the loss of 1 Vampire.

3) RP summons get folded into Epic Grandstand along the lines of what TwinHaelix suggested above. This prevents classes adding yet another simultaneously active summon by making RP summons occupy a summon slot.

4) Robe of Eternal Darkness Minotaur and Shadow Sim changed to need a free summon slot to work as they currently fall outside of the summon system. The minotaur should use a summon slot, and the Shadow Sim spell can do a check for an open summon slot and fail if none is available.

5) Golem tuned to be more in line with existing animal companions. Keep it strong and an animal companion slot, but make it scale with base Sorcerer or Wizard class levels instead of CL. The Golem Mastery feats can be adjusted to work like the Natural Bond/Epic Animal Companion feats as well. This forces an arcane to choose between a taking heavy base class levels for a Golem, taking CoN, or dropping both and stacking more powerful PrCs like PM and FM. This gives some much needed value to a Sorc/Wiz 36 type build. That said, I think there is value in increasing the quantum of HD from each feat (both Golem Mastery and Natural Bond/Epic Animal Companion) from +3 to +4 per feat as this allows for some build variety.
Last edited by kc2345 on Wed Jun 29, 2022 11:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Belferon
Posts: 240

Re: Change to multiple Summons Framework

Post#5 » Wed Jun 29, 2022 11:53 pm

Hi all.

I was thinking that besides some of the other ways you want to fix things mechanically, maybe there's a rules/D&D way to help change things a bit too.

I was thinking for ALL NPC spell casters (*IF* there AI is good enough) 2 spells:

Daylight - Would basically turns vampires into ashes.

&

Earth to Mud - Basically turns stone golems into pudding.

Now, I'm not sure these are even in NWN2 (Or that Earth to Mud is a real spell, lol) I think Sunlight (Sunbeam?) maybe in the game already, but that's not as strong as Daylight. Daylight is basically a level 3 spell everyone, except warlocks I think, get.
Earth to Mud you could basically make the same as Daylight, but switch it to golems instead.

So, I guess it depends on how you want to try and work things out too Brumm, and how much work is involved as well.

Take care,
--Corgano

***EDIT: Almost forgot about Dispell to un-summon the summons. Or, at the least, maybe to interrupt the player's control over the summons and make them hostile to the player. You farm with the summons, something turns them hostile, and the player gets killed. Just some more thoughts. :)

Brumm
Posts: 2521

Re: Change to multiple Summons Framework

Post#6 » Thu Jun 30, 2022 2:38 am

Really decent suggestions, guys! That was very helpful!
I'll go through them in detail when I get a little bit more time and come back to you.

Aenain
Posts: 128

Re: Change to multiple Summons Framework

Post#7 » Thu Jun 30, 2022 6:41 am

The more I read over this, the more good ideas I see. I also spent what little of my night/morning I have had thinking about what makes the summons where they can be used to farm while afk. The number is a large part, but the survivability is what lets them maintain that. What if the regen was lowered on summons? They would still be just as durable, but took longer to heal/had to be healed. You couldn't do afk crypt sessions, because the summons would die with a constant onslaught of mobs if you did not have an active healer.

Amar0r
Posts: 13

Re: Change to multiple Summons Framework

Post#8 » Thu Jun 30, 2022 7:04 pm

I'm ok with summon changes, but please don't mess with the Lich King :)

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