The True Effect of the Chameleon Spell?

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limorkil
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The True Effect of the Chameleon Spell?

Post by limorkil » Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:51 pm

I was watching this recent YouTube video where the author tested all the spell effects in Daggerfall (non-Unity).



I noticed on the Chameleon effect, he stated that it does not appear to make the pc harder to detect, but it did seem to make them harder to hit in combat.

I recalled that I had heard speculation of this before, years back, and I found some old Gamefaqs posts on the subject. The consensus is that Chameleon does not have anything to do with detection, either by design or due to a bug. Of course, we all assumed a bug. There are Chameleon spells in later Elder Scrolls games, so we all assumed the one in Daggerfall worked the same way. But we always wondered why there was Chameleon, Shadow Form and Invisibility. Why three different effects? Why have potions for all three as well? It's plausibly an oversight because there are other oddities in the spell effects.

So I am just putting this out there. Maybe Chameleon is like the Sanctuary spell in Morrowind, an illusion spell that made you harder to hit. There are D&D illusion spells that do similar.

I believe spells in DU are implemented from scratch, so testing this in DU would not prove anything. I don't have a DosBox version installed to try it out.

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Jay_H
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Re: The True Effect of the Chameleon Spell?

Post by Jay_H » Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:01 am

I'm gonna move this over to Community; that's where classic-only topics get put :)

I always thought "shadow" was for dark areas and "chameleon" was for light ones, but that's entirely my own theory. This one's gonna be a real mystery until someone digs deep.
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See the Daggerfall Unity Wiki on the UESP.

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Interkarma
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Re: The True Effect of the Chameleon Spell?

Post by Interkarma » Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:28 am

From what I recall, the chances and distances for these concealment effects were reverse engineered from classic by Allofich. Their behaviours in DFU should be about on par. If these effects were doing something different in classic, I'm confident Allofich would have raised that with me. He helped match several of the more obscure effect behaviours.

At this time, I don't recall Chameleon being limited to light and Shadow to darkness, but that was always my understanding of how they should work. I think we discussed this in a PR comment somewhere, and classic was not actually making that distinction. I just can't recall the specifics now that so much time has passed.

In any case, most of the actual AI work for these concealment effects was done by Allofich, which means they're probably very close to classic.

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Jay_H
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Re: The True Effect of the Chameleon Spell?

Post by Jay_H » Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:37 am

I'd almost put money that the light/dark thing is somewhere in Daggerfall Chronicles. That's the only way two old-timers in this game would come up with the same contrived idea.
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L57
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Re: The True Effect of the Chameleon Spell?

Post by L57 » Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:45 pm

Could anybody explain how Shadow Form/Chameleon exactly work at least in DFU?

This is what UESP says about Classic mechanics:

Chameleon and Shadow Form are cheap versions of Invisibility. Chameleon only works when you are not moving, and Shadow Form only works indoors.

while Elderscrolls.net suggests:

As it hosts a better duration, this spell may be used as a far better alternative the Shadow Form spell, as they share the same effect.

Lots of confusion with this game as usual...

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pango
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Re: The True Effect of the Chameleon Spell?

Post by pango » Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:21 am

From a very quick code check, the 3 effects are very similar, but blending (chameleon) has a residual failure rate of 8% while isashade (shadow) has a residual failure rate of 4% (and invisibility has 0%).
https://github.com/Interkarma/daggerfal ... es.cs#L605

Then the normal variants can be broken by enemies attacks while true variants do not.
https://github.com/Interkarma/daggerfal ... ck.cs#L242

Spent 5 minutes on that so I could have missed something...
When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.
-- Charles Goodhart

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