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Oberon_Shrader
02-07-2014, 05:51 AM
I suggests scaling Summon Monster spells to caster level and adding a Summoner enhancement line for Wizzies (maybe Druids, too; as they have good access to summoning spells).

This might introduce a whole other playstyle that has been (kinda) attempted, but never really perfected.

What do you think, DDO?!

Zwets
02-10-2014, 07:44 AM
I'm kind of pondering to say, "But it worked that way in D&D 3.5." but DDO is its own boss and can and should deviate when that improves the gameplay, long as it does not dumb down the game.

What is interesting though is that 3.5 summoning spells had a max challenge rating for the summon, and you could chose to fill that up with 1 creature, or summon multiples copies of the a creature summoned by lower level spells.
I think that the ability to summon 4 hell hounds or frost wolves instead of 1 large earth elemental, might be a start to improving the summoning mechanics, to at least allow for some unexpected combinations with buffs to increase the value of summoned creatures as well as giving them multiple tries to use their cool down abilities that have a resistance DC.

Now, 3.5 did not have a simple way of converting multiple creatures into swarms, however 4th Edition did. Once you start being able to summon multiples, you might as well be able to summon swarms.
The convert to swarm rule was: take the basic creature, add 7 swarm levels, double the size, add swarm traits (damage resistance to single target attacks, weakness to AoE, free attacks on creatures adjacent to it). If the basic creature was some something less than level 1, like a bug or a rat, the result would be half or a quarter of the 7 levels.
Now you could make a swarm out of a swarm by tripling the number of creatures for another 7 levels. So:

1 villager: level 1 minion
Angry mob: level 7 swarm
Crazed Riot: level 14 swarm

At high level I think swarms would provide summoners with big, high health and high DR/AoE creatures that would also attack multiple targets. While forcing you to think about elemental immunities when coming up against area of effect. It would probably help with the "summons die in 1 hit on elite problem" and by the time you are a high level conjurer you should have plenty of different critters to chose from with which to compose your swarms.

The downside is that turbine would have to make animations (models are already there, just combine multiple of them into a single creature) for many different swarms, so this is never going to happen.

bennyson
02-11-2014, 10:54 AM
I've already done a thread similar to this thread's aim, if you want check out my "Summon CR = Caster Level" thread.

shadowowl
02-11-2014, 04:04 PM
I suggests scaling Summon Monster spells to caster level and adding a Summoner enhancement line for Wizzies (maybe Druids, too; as they have good access to summoning spells).

This might introduce a whole other playstyle that has been (kinda) attempted, but never really perfected.

What do you think, DDO?!

summon monster spells already do scale.. you have an upgrade for each spell level and then an epic summon which if you have augment summoning and a cpl druid past lives is fairly potent. I made a summoner as one of my wizard lives I had 2 druid pl augment summoning and the full magister line to get epic summon with some twists from the druid tree it was a fairly formidable summon I had a harpy since I was an enchanter and used my charm spells in edition to create my dps it works very well. it would be nice if you did gain more power to the summons based on the caster level since my epic summon is just as strong as a caster level 20 as it is as a caster level 27 perhaps +hp + 1 stat + some ac + spell power per caster level above the original would be nice. but this certainly works for epic hard quests I didn't have any success with it in EE though but it was certainly fun in epic hard.

Irenae
02-11-2014, 06:23 PM
Sounds simple, add summoner class. Basically a mage focused on summoning.

droid327
02-12-2014, 02:05 AM
One problem is the AI....making summons more powerful doesn't really make them practical as the centerpiece of your playstyle if they're all dumb as rocks and get stuck on ladders, or worse, go Leeroy Jenkins on packs of monsters 300 yards down the hall before you're ready.

The other is that summoning is a force multiplier...anything that can buff you gets multiplied by however many summons you have out. Any summons that have support abilities (including hirelings etc.) will get multiplied by each other. You could in theory have a PM, or Druid with a hire, a class pet, a summon, a Magister summon (I think those are different than timed spell summons?), and a gold seal Owlbear if you have one. Then cast all your buffs on everyone, you have two healers (assuming you summon a Ghaele or Dryad), its quite a lot of power multiplication if they're all independently powerful enough to hold their own in Epic content.

I think that summons in their current state DO need some attention, they're too far the other way towards uselessness past L20. But I think part of the reason they remain unfixed is because they're so much harder to balance while keeping everything else balanced independently.

Lanhelin
02-12-2014, 05:48 AM
But I think part of the reason they remain unfixed is because they're so much harder to balance while keeping everything else balanced independently.

I don't think so. I guess leaving the Summons untouched is because of D&D rules and overhauling the summoning system would require the placet of WotC first.

But if it is not the case, then why not make the power of Summons scale with Spell Power? Eg. every +25 Spell Power the summoned Mob counts one Level higher or something like that. The tooltips would have to be adjusted to show which Summon is affected by what type of Spell Power. And a Summoner can choose which mob types he want to focus on, or regarding items try to find the best +Spell Power ones of his choice. This would make the gameplay of a Summoner a bit more interesting too, instead of just making all Summons more powerful.

fmalfeas
02-12-2014, 07:12 AM
Even just expanding the summoning tables could help. Let us summon creatures with more useful abilities.

For example, even in dangerous content, if you can keep it from getting insta-gibbed, a Medusa would be pretty useful with her no-save petrification ability. A Carrion Crawler could also be useful with it's paralyzation spam. One of the classic summons is an Orc Barbarian, and that could be somewhat useful.

As it stands, the only summons worth casting, even on heroic normal, are Fiendish Spider, Bearded Devil, Air Elemental, Efreeti (barely), Ghale (barely), and Dryad (Barely). Everything else either doesn't do enough to justify the SP cost, or dies if it's looked at funny. Frequently both. And the only use for the spider is if it does it's web attack.

I doubt Turbine would need special permission to just use the rules in the Player's Handbook to give us more variety in our summons.

And /anything/ would be better than the Fiendish Bat and Fiendish Scorpion summons. Well, maybe not /anything/...I suppose we could get handed a Dire Sparrow or something like that. But come on, Monster Summoning 2? That's a CR2. Level 2 Orc Barbarian. Celestial Badger. Something.

Also, there's another summoning spell line that would be useful. Summon Undead. Goes from 1-9 just like Monster and Natures Ally, but it summons undead things instead. If memory serves, the level 8 version can summon a Skeletal Hydra. Just through sheer number of attacks, that's useful. (Law of Probability, with 5-9 bite attacks per round, it's gonna roll a few 20's here and there.) If that's too large, there's plenty of other stuff. It's limit is that it doesn't get to summon intelligent undead, I don't believe. So mostly variants on skeletons and zombies. Some of them, though, can be scary.

As for Create Undead, I still don't know why Create Greater Undead hasn't been put in. It's a 8th level core spell, that makes much more powerful undead than Create Undead can.

bennyson
02-12-2014, 09:14 AM
summon monster spells already do scale.

Summon monster spells DO NOT SCALE!

The only summons that scale is Druid, Artificer, and Wizard pets and all other summoning spells are fixed CR values.