Talk:Devonshire Clerics

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Devonshire is slowly trudging along towards being complete enough to release, and an integral part of that city is the clerics. Since the city is getting recoded, I figured the guild should get recoded as well. I had asked before on the cleric guild board for input, but apparently since Bless no longer grants +200 to everything, the entire guild is useless and no one plays clerics any more (and it seems no one ever bothers to look at the guild boards).

One of the key aspects of reworking a guild is to establish the concept behind the guild. This gives cohesion to the guild and sets up its identity, while preventing it from becoming a loose-knit group of rag-tag adventurers with cool powers. Discussions have been carried out between developers, but the main thing I drew from it was that Chaos has a dislike for the term 'Cleric', and there is no real unifying theme behind the guild other than being a rip-off of D&D clerics.

A trait of LS that seems to span across every project is that the longer it is on-line, the more it changes and evolves via tiny little tweaks her, small adjustments there, and a few randomly inserted updates. The Clerics are no exception to this. This leads me to my current situation and question. What is the concept of the clerics? Are they spell-casters who derive their powers from the gods, are they holy warriors with certain spell-like abilities, are they predominantly warriors with a few healing spells, or what?--Bladestorm 16:42, 24 December 2008 (EST)

First of all, let me say thank you for undertaking this project. It is long over-due and something I don't think any of us are willing to foot the bill for. So... thanks.

Yes, it's true Chaos(and some others of us, myself included) have a disdain toward the term 'cleric'. It's far too vague for my liking. The clerics, as they are, are simply rip-offs of DnD as you've stated. This bothers me, as they aren't even -good- rip-offs of DnD clerics. =) However, I do not have an idea for a better term for cleric that I can pull out of my minuscule mind at this time.

As far as a guild... clerics as they stand are primarily spell-casting warrior-types. They're a little misleading though, as you'd think they have effective healing spells -- but they don't. The current system of gaining exp for healing is quite nice, but it cripples their ability to make anything of the actual healing effect. One mediocre heal every three minutes(or whatever it is) simple doesn't cut the mustard when you consider all other possible outlets for regaining hitpoints. The offensive capabilities of the current clerics are also mediocre at best. Spiritual hammer is sorta nice, and turn undead is not without it's uses -- but it's all extremely spirit intensive with the current bless. Flame strike is decent, I suppose. I believe the code is outdated though, which makes it impossible to use in groups. Having not played Canada for awhile though, this may or may not be true.

As a side note: I realize bless was a bit outrageous -- I agree with nerfing it... however not to the extent in which it has. That extra spirit was vital to actually utilizing the high-cost spells in our arsenal, in my opinion.

Using bless as a segue, the cleric defensive/support spells are adequate. Blade barrier is fantastic, as is protection from evil(though not lasting as long as desired, but hey, what can you do). However, with low spec access in combat skills, a now pitiful bless, and few options for self-healing, the once-great defensive grimoire has been nuked to mediocre. Support spells, even without bless, have their ups and downs. Prophylaxis doesn't last long enough in my opinion, but I've yet to really time it. Things like wind walk, regenerate, resist fire, neutralizing poison... yeah, they are nice to have. That's probably the only positive point of playing a cleric these days. (except for not being able to neutralizing poison on the same person within 3 minutes, but you can cure disease them as much as you want. that blows my feeble mind)

For a recoded cleric, I'd like to see the existing spell-casting scheme done away with. Memorizing spells is simply a throwback to the DnD ripoff-ishness of the current clerics. Praying for the worshiped God to bring the power of said invocation down upon someone would be more thematic(if any theme were to actually exist). That's just a piss-poor random idea though, so take it with a grain of salt.

As for your question -- if clerics are a spell-caster guild, a paladinish guild, or just warriors with healing -- I'd like to see them around the middle. Right now, they are warriors with poor spell casting abilities all around. They're sort of in the same boat as outsiders are -- people keep them around for the novelty and occasional support usage. I don't know what direction you would take your new clerics, but if you need my help in any way, shape, or form feel free to poke me. =)

Thanks again. Lysolian 15:10, 23 December 2008 (EST)

  • Clerics should be walking advertisements for their God. Using their God's power to heal the faithful, defend the faith, destroy the enemy and hopefully convert the rest. So, I don't think separate gods should be within the same guild. I think a cleric-like guild is only suitable for certain gods. Some gods would be more subtle or wouldn't care about such things, etc. Cleric as a term might be suitable for one god, but each religion should have it's own terms. I've been playing Gesus a lot recently, a cleric of Gaia who spends most of his time curing disease and helping defend Losthaven. It's kinda fun with the new disease changes. But I shouldn't have the same spell list as a cleric of Odin. The gods should be separated and their powers/spells/abilities made more thematic. I don't know which gods fit into Devonshire and Avalon. Are they the gods that were worshiped on Avalon before the Altrian empire brought Yehovah? How do they get along with the Knights? Fruri 15:02, 23 December 2008 (EST)

  • Maybe it would make more sense to keep all the Devonshire gods in one guild as some sort of pantheon. With different spells invoked by praying to appropriate gods. If the locals were adopting varied gods from varied sources it was probably because they found they could pray to that god for something they couldn't get from the other gods. The power of the prayers partly being based on your favor with the appropriate god. Maybe with special powers from whoever your the favorite of. But you could change your favored deity by your skill choices, stats, offerings, completely special tasks, etc. Fruri 17:27, 23 December 2008 (EST)

Re: What draws people to play clerics anyway?

When I first created Canada, it was because I didn't see very many clerics on. Playing it was always a challenge -- as one could tell by how godly long it took me to hero in the first place. I chose Odin and rocked the spears... which basically was basically because I'm unoriginal. It worked fairly well in the beginning, but only because I had bless, haste, blade barrier, protection from evil, spiritual hammer, and flame strike. ...those were really the only spells I used. I didn't touch things like 'sticks for snakes' which has to be the most useless fucking thing since they started making vibrators out of chocolate and toffee. ...wait, I don't think they actually do that.

(note: marketing idea)

Anyway, flame strike is kinda nice considering you can just forage for sticks and spam the ever-loving piss out of it. So, I abused that worse than a three-dollar whore in the bad part of Vegas. Once bless was nerfed though, I just didn't have the spirit to keep it up... so level 65 is where Canada will stay. Poor Canada, always mediocre, even in text games. (I offer no apologies to our Canadian players... take off, ya hosers.)

You're right about bless not compensating for the flaws Clerics inherently have. Low spec access without supplemental benefit is really rough to overcome. Sure, some guilds(e.g. Aligned) have absolutely horrendous combat access... but they have a lot to make up for it. Clerics fail to have that. They have a lot of supportive benefits, but they are poorly designed for the MUD these days. Chant is nigh-on useless, because no one wants to sit around long enough for it to be worth a damn. Healing has it's issues like I mentioned above. What I don't understand is why healing exp wasn't done a little differently; such as only getting healing exp every three minutes, but being able to drop the big heal bomb whenever you wanted. I'm sure that's abusable in ways that I cannot even begin to think about, but the current system is more debilitating than helpful. Resist spells are fan-figgity-tastic, so I cannot even begin to complain about them. That's really the essential role of the clerics... cast a bunch of spells to make sure they die slower.  :P However, it's not always easy to find a group on our little slice of Heaven we have here... especially when you are me and no one wants to group with you because a painful death is very surely coming soon afterward.

Another thing is less-than-helpful help files. Who would have guessed Empathy was a main skill?

Oh, and seek out the input of Porphyria. He knows way more than I do.

Hope this helps. Like I said, feel free to ask me for any help you need, bro. Lysolian 19:44, 23 December 2008 (EST)

Since my name was mentioned, I may as well weigh in with my two cents... I think clerics have a decent enough toolbox of spells, although I would agree that it could be improved upon. Almost all of the spells are useful in various situations, although I definitely do have my go-to spells for the main part of the grind (as anyone could tell from looking at my spellcasting stats). As things stand, clerics are better-off defensively than just about any other guild (two different aura spells, a heal-over-time, resistance spells...) and aren't too shabby on offense, if they can keep up with the SP required to run their offensive spells... I'm not entirely sure I'm very well-qualified to talk about the various strengths and weaknesses of clerics, since Esmene is an amberite spearmaiden who autodidacts five points of combat meditation and wields a primal weapon -- she would be an excellent combatant even without cleric powers piled on top of all of that, so I may just not notice the tough spots of playing a cleric quite as much.
I've always liked clerics for the same reason why a lot of people here seem to think that they're 'under-powered' or even 'useless'... Clerics are generalists, almost more so than any other guild on the MUD. Clerics have a bit of just about everything, without really being specialized in any one area. Clerics can heal; they have area attacks; they have some combat spec access; they have defensive spells; they have buffs; they have utility spells; they get pets; they have an item enchantment... I think a lot of the perception of clerics being under-powered comes from the fact that for just about anything you can think of that a cleric can do, another guild can do better. Knights are better healers; OZM, RW, RM, ELF get better area attacks; lots of guilds have more combat spec access... Coupled with this is the fact that grinding XP really does seem to be geared more towards those who really just do one or two things extremely well. Esmene gets by pretty well because she's able to be a good enough hand-to-hand combatant that the addition of flame strikes, defensive auras, and heals allows her to take on some of the really impressive stuff. I personally like the generalist role, since it's a playstyle I'm comfortable playing, but I can also see where the others are coming from here.
I think that if we're going to keep the concept of a unitary guild and a unitary church, then it makes some sense to have clerics that draw their powers from more than one deity. It could be interesting to allow characters to start out as priests 'of the pantheon', and able to call upon the powers of the various deities within the Devonshire pantheon. But the priests of the pantheon as a whole would presumably be unable to access the upper-level powers of any one god/goddess, while priests who chose to become one of the ones devoted to just one of the gods would receive less (or no) support from the other gods of the pantheon, while gaining greater power from the god of their choice (which could amount to spell/skill access, or other boons...) --Esmene 02:09, 26 December 2008 (EST)
Me again... I thought I would go ahead and share my impressions of the various cleric powers, since that seems to be a central part of this discussion...
  • Healing spells - Really, I don't usually waste many spell slots on healing spells to begin with -- usually just a major healing (since I rarely carry components) or two. I haven't used minor healing in years and years, since if you're desperate enough to need a cleric to heal you, you're usually going to need more than a minor healing. The heal timer is utterly awful -- I would rather lose the experience received from healing than have to count minutes between healing spells. I'm a bit split on the whole tiered healing spell thing. On the one hand, it can be useful to fit the healing spell to your SP -- a lesser heal is better than a heal you don't have the spare SP for. On the other hand, spell slots make the minor healings less desirable to keep around.
  • Curatives (neutralize poison, cure disease, prophylaxis, remove curse) - Useful, but limited... Most poisons tend not to last long enough or to be enough of a threat to really bother with curing... Diseases are more of an annoyance (and there just aren't enough diseases that aren't the MFing plague)... And curses are pretty easy to avoid.
  • Regenerate - Awesome spell, but the reversed version is somehow simultaneously too powerful and too weak... It can make Mervin an utter pushover, since he can't rip off your arms if he's got none of his own... But it does temporal damage... Old age doesn't appear to be much of a concern for most of the Lostsouls residents one might like to use this spell on.
  • Create food/create water - It's usually quicker to wander down to a Grinning Cat than it is to pray for and cast these spells. Will probably become infinitely more useful once travel isn't a quick and easy affair anymore.
  • Chant - Seriously, I have no idea what in the world this spell does. The help file sucks, and I've never had enough inclination to figure out what 'certain bonuses' this spell gives in order to think of a situation in which I would be willing to use this spell. It seems like it must be a non-combat spell, since any action that the cleric takes (such as auto-assisting a groupmate entering combat) would end the spell... Does it help speed recovery (like zephyr?) Does it boost one's ability to play parcheesi? I really dunno.
  • Hold person - Stunning mechanics being revamped really moved this spell way down the list of things I would consider useful. This spell should probably either be renamed and have its duration extended, or else use a mechanic similar to emerald bands or scithial bonds.
  • Turn undead - Gary Gygax takes a bit of vampire lore, expands it to cover all undead, and bestows it upon clerics and paladins, and suddenly clerics of agricultural deities (who presumably don't give a shit about the undead) in games across the known universe can pwn the crap out of undead of all descriptions. Lame. Lame. Lame.
  • Animate dead/sticks to snakes - I hate pets in LS, which is strange because when I play MMORPGs, I usually find the pet class to be the most fun. These pets are not at all fun. I haven't used either spell in a long time, but I seem to remember that you can't even see if your undead servant is wounded or not, and it doesn't stick around for very long, which takes all the fun out of naming it... And snakes are boring pets for boring people... Plus, they're slow. On the other hand, it is kind of fun to forage upwards of 100+ sticks and lag the mud by killing off godlike critters with a fuckload of snakes.
  • Material components - Ick. Double ick for healing spells. It's enough of a problem asking a usually order-aligned guild to be carrying around warpstones in order to heal themselves and their compatriots, but toss on a coruscar for the big heal? It's so much of a trouble to get a coruscar in the first place that I'm likely to allow the groupmate to bleed to death before I can make up my mind as to whether or not I could get by with just giving them a greater healing instead of a great healing. Ice crystals and black sand are vanishingly rare now, so about the only way to get those components is by ransacking Luc's shop... You should be able to actually 'forage for moss' in the forest, seeing as it's more common than trees in most forests, and the spell doesn't require it to be special moss...
  • Wrath - More of a pain in the butt than it's really worth, seeing as there are maybe five different encounters I would actually use it with, and it's only usable (for each god) once every few days. Kinda fun to have, but not something I would miss. Would trade this spell in a second for something more useful on a regular basis.
  • The rest - The rest of the spells are more or less the ones I can't think of anything constructive to say concerning, seeing as they're either the ones that I consider my bread and butter (flame strike, PfE, bless...) or else are the ones that are useful from time to time in a non-annoying fashion (light... who doesn't like light every once in awhile?) I hope any of this helps.
--Esmene 05:22, 27 December 2008 (EST)


Aside from the general spellcasting and combat abilities of the clerics, I've been thinking that the clerics could (or should) be tied to and have a role in churches, similar to how the Pantarchic Church has been implemented. It would be interesting if the clerics could act as officiants in a number of rituals which could be tailored to each church (maybe one of the sacraments of the Church of Odin could be the ritual hunt of a summoned boar, for instance) and which would curry the favor of the gods for each participant and the cleric. It could also be interesting if at least one factor in the effectiveness of clerical powers was the amount of favor which the target (and the cleric) had with the cleric's god (a blessing, for instance, would have the most effect on a priest or one high in the favor of the god, less effect on one indifferent to the god, and maybe no effect on one who worshipped an antagonistic god.) Likewise, certain combat spells might be designed to take into account the relative sanctity of the target in the eyes of the god... At the very least, it would provide an avenue for roleplaying, as well as a method of advancement that wasn't quite so tied up in experience points... --Esmene 15:13, 2 January 2009 (EST)
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