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PowerDiver
November 3, 2009, 18:05
It almost feels like cheating to use this xbow.

b) The Heavy Crossbow 'Hungwath' (x4) (+12,+22) (+2)
+2 constitution, shooting power.
Branded with venom.

That's 450 points of damage with a bolt (1d5) (+0,+0).

At least I am playing ironman so I can pretend looking for ammo makes it ok.

fizzix
November 4, 2009, 01:25
It almost feels like cheating to use this xbow.

b) The Heavy Crossbow 'Hungwath' (x4) (+12,+22) (+2)
+2 constitution, shooting power.
Branded with venom.

That's 450 points of damage with a bolt (1d5) (+0,+0).

At least I am playing ironman so I can pretend looking for ammo makes it ok.

If there was one change I would make for randarts, it would be to cap bows and weapons at a certain ability *and* ensure that a least one powerful/endgame bows and weapon were rated with depth 95 and low rarity.

As it is, you won the randart lottery. Next game, you probably won't be so lucky. (I've never had a randart bow that powerful...)

Bagplant
November 4, 2009, 02:06
That does seem excessive.

I think ranged weapon rating for randarts might need to be rescaled. From memory I don't think the power rating code ever considered any of the existing ranged weapons to be all that powerful - the best of them were still only around half the power of a high end weapon like Ringil or Eonwe. The converse of that is that if Ringil or Eonwe turns into a randart ranged weapon, it's likely to be twice as good as anything in the regular set. That has fairly serious game balance implications, considering how many classes currently rely on missile weapons as their primary attack in the end game. As fizzix said, it's a lottery.

Magnate
November 4, 2009, 11:31
That does seem excessive.

I think ranged weapon rating for randarts might need to be rescaled. From memory I don't think the power rating code ever considered any of the existing ranged weapons to be all that powerful - the best of them were still only around half the power of a high end weapon like Ringil or Eonwe. The converse of that is that if Ringil or Eonwe turns into a randart ranged weapon, it's likely to be twice as good as anything in the regular set. That has fairly serious game balance implications, considering how many classes currently rely on missile weapons as their primary attack in the end game. As fizzix said, it's a lottery.The most powerful ranged weapon in the standard set is Belthronding (which beats Bard for all non-ranger classes), and it is indeed not quite as powerful as the top-end weapons like Ringil, Doomcaller et al. Nor indeed is it as powerful as top-end ego launchers: there just aren't any uber-launchers in the standard artifact set. I'm quite happy that they occasionally show up in randart sets.

Randart ranged weapons are indeed a lottery: if all the mods boost damage (shots, might, +dam, brand/slay) then they end up like this one. But plenty of them end up with +4 to charisma, searching and tunnelling with SI, slow digestion and hold life. Or whatever.

When I overhaul the randart code to move to a slot-specific power rating (e.g. PLITE is much more valuable on light sources than on anything else), I think the bow slot should get special treatment: damage boosting mods on missile weapons need to be rated about twice as high as on melee weapons. Something like that. I am definitely opposed to capping anything (it's *nice* to find uber-items occasionally!), but I'm always up for improving the rating algorithm.

CC

PowerDiver
November 4, 2009, 17:04
It gets worse. I generated the artifact spoilers, and that was only the third best launcher in my game. There were two longbows with +2 to both might and shots. One was too rare to matter [and had kill_demon to boot], but the other one wasn't.

rdermyer
November 5, 2009, 06:03
The Scimitar of Monnarth (4d2) (+12,+10)
----------------------------------------
+4 charisma.
Slays undead.
Provides immunity to lightning.
Provides resistance to confusion, chaos, disenchantment.
Cannot be harmed by acid, electricity, fire, cold.

When activated, it returns you from the dungeon or takes you to the dungeo
n after a short delay.
Takes 200 turns to recharge.


Level 40, Rarity 8, 15.0 lbs, 18000 AU

Man, RConf, RChaos, and RDisenchant on one item that activated for recall plus lighting immunity!

Pete Mack
November 5, 2009, 06:19
Yes, that's excessive, but It still does ~2x less damage than Bard in the hands of a Ranger.

miyazaki
November 5, 2009, 07:01
Has anyone come across a randart launcher with Slay Evil? Or Acid Branding? Either would be quite handy!

Estie
November 5, 2009, 15:03
I dont think you should judge a randarts power by itself alone ("excessive"); rather, evaluate a whole set. Randarts can come with differing attributes from normal artifacts in the various slots; some of them can turn out to be more powerful, but at the same time, others are usually weaker.

Ive been playing with randarts for years (up to version 3.1.0) with like maybe 1 or 2 dozen winners and about the same number of characters who made it to the late game. Going from these games, I say that the typical randart set is (or was), on average, weaker that the typical normal set I can expect to find.

One reason for this is that the typical normal set contains a huge amount of hit/damage adds in non-weapon slots. You can expect +8 +8 from gloves, +7 +7 from amulet and possibly more from a ring of power. A typical randart set has either none at all or way less. Yes, the gloves might have ESP, an immunity and +4 to con, and if you look at them alone you might think "excessive", but at the same time the amulet has rblind, +1 charisma and not much else.

Another observation is that melee is weaker while ranged is more powerful. I guess thats because the number of attributes that improve melee are more numerous than those that improve ranged damage on a weapon.

For all I know, a randart <high base damage weapon> with high damage enchantment, extra dice, extra attacks and some useful slays/brands can be created by the game, but odds are very much against it. I have never found a randart weapon that I wouldnt have replaced with a well enchanted MoD (Holy Avenger). (This is assuming that I wanted to melee with it)

Otoh, launchers only have extra might, extra shots and damage enchant as available improvements; chances for at least 2 of those appearing on a x3 or x4 base are high. From memory, Id say that in about half my endgames I had something equal or better than Bard/Belthronding/Haradrim.

My next point is aggravation. I love the concept of Calris. You have to work to make it useful (by enchanting its to-hit), and even after that it retains a drawback (aggravation), but when found early, it offers a supreme advantage for those who know how to use it (wyrm slaying).
On everything else, I find that agrravation adds nothing to the game. In this I am much in agreement with PowerDiver in this thread:
http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthread.php?p=25366#post25366

My randart games usually followed this pattern: use the randarts that dont aggravate, collect the superior, but aggravating ones in my house, when the set including aggravating ones looked good enough, switch to that and kill the last 2 uniques. Meh.

I dont know if the "Calris effect" can be reproduced with randomized artifacts, but in any case, drawbacks like aggravation should, imho, be rare, not the rule.

One last thing: I dont like the idea of capping artifact powers. That leads to games whith little variation in what you can find. The normal artifacts arent "capped", either - Ringil and Feanor do exist. Once in a while you get lucky and find one, but we all know that the road from finding Ringil to actually killing Morgoth is a long and dangerous one :)

Okay, maybe that wasnt really my last point:
What about having infinite randarts ? It would remove the worry of making a randart set that guarantees good enough properties to win the game and might be easier to balance.
I dont think the gameplay would be affected: with normal artifacts, you collect stuff till you feel powerful enough, then confront the last 2 and win (or loose...); the stopping point is normally well before the pool is exhausted (Bladeturner, The One etc. usually dont get found). Any play beyond that point (imho) doesnt need balancing, so it would be the same with infinite randarts - you collect stuff till you have "enough", what happens beyond that point doesnt matter.

Thoughts ?

Magnate
November 5, 2009, 15:05
The Scimitar of Monnarth (4d2) (+12,+10)
----------------------------------------
+4 charisma.
Slays undead.
Provides immunity to lightning.
Provides resistance to confusion, chaos, disenchantment.
Cannot be harmed by acid, electricity, fire, cold.

When activated, it returns you from the dungeon or takes you to the dungeo
n after a short delay.
Takes 200 turns to recharge.


Level 40, Rarity 8, 15.0 lbs, 18000 AU

Man, RConf, RChaos, and RDisenchant on one item that activated for recall plus lighting immunity!Yeah, that would be awesome. The only drawback is that it occupies your weapon slot, which is often quite an important one. Swings and roundabouts ...

Joona
November 10, 2009, 17:24
The Main Gauche 'Argorot' (1d5) (+17,+12) [+3] (+3)

+3 strength, intelligence.
Slays evil creatures, orcs, dragons.
*Slays* undead.
Branded with frost, venom.
Provides immunity to fire.
Provides resistance to lightning.
Cannot be harmed by acid, electricity, fire, cold.
Blessed by the gods.

This one was nice. I found it around 1500'. In the same game I also found these:

The Pair of Leather Boots of Wenwedh [2,+21] (+2)
+2 constitution.
Provides resistance to acid, lightning, dark, nether.
Cannot be harmed by acid, electricity, fire, cold.
Slows your metabolism. Grants the ability to see invisible
things.

Radius 1 light.

The Heavy Crossbow 'Halagor' (x4) (+11,+10) (+3)
+3 wisdom, dexterity, constitution, infravision, speed.
Provides resistance to acid, blindness, confusion.
Cannot be harmed by acid, electricity, fire, cold.

Not necessarily amazing but really good considering that all of these were found around or below 2000'. In the end I died at 2750' by landing in the middle of a large group of gravity hounds while escaping from Ar-Pharazon. At that point I had all the resistances except for Nexus and Chaos. Chaos was available with another rather rich in resistances armor which was otherwise poor. Might have ended up with a nice set, had I not messed up. Oh, how many characters have died because of teleporting to hounds...

Oh yeah, are we going to see random uniques at some point too? :) Those would probably have to be created along with the artifacts though.

fizzix
November 10, 2009, 19:50
Oh yeah, are we going to see random uniques at some point too? :) Those would probably have to be created along with the artifacts though.

I probably would not play with randomized uniques unless a large portion of their attacks was known on first sight. With the current set of uniques, even if you are unfamiliar with them, you can guess what they might breathe/cast based on their description. That obviously wouldn't be there with randomized uniques.

buzzkill
November 11, 2009, 03:26
I probably would not play with randomized uniques unless a large portion of their attacks was known on first sight.

Wouldn't that kind of defeat the point? Z+ has random uniques and they are very scary, until you actually fight a few of them, then you realize that they have nothing on the real uniques.

fizzix
November 11, 2009, 05:05
Wouldn't that kind of defeat the point? Z+ has random uniques and they are very scary, until you actually fight a few of them, then you realize that they have nothing on the real uniques.

well what is the point? for me it would be to come up with new strategies for new foes, and to add another good* random factor to the game. If they're just weaker than the real uniques, that solves the main problem, but it limits them greatly.

* by good, I mean, something that enriches the experience but does not result in more insta-deaths because of randomness.

buzzkill
November 11, 2009, 14:23
well what is the point?

My point, is... hmmm... {rambling off-topic post ahead}, my point was, what good is a random unique if it's random abilities are going to be revealed to the player before, what will presumably be it's one and only battle, assuming that someone dies.

Given the above, the maintainer basically has two choices. Either err on the side of caution, making RU's light-weights, so they can be beaten, or design them to be heavy-weights, and risk making them merciless player killers, depending on the abilities granted them by the RNG.

It's one thing to find a very good randart that will propel you deeper into the dungeon, where inevitably, something will find and kill you (at least that's my experience). It quite another to find a very strong random unique, OOD, that you're unprepared for, that you know nothing about, that just beats the snot out of you. This actually sounds like fun to me, but would probably discourage a lot of others.

I guess my point is that creating random uniques is trickier that creating randarts, and creating a lot of wimpy, poorly designed, RU's that replace the standard uniques will trash the game. Maybe heavy-weight RU's could stick around, from one game to the next, so you could learn their abilities and eventually kill them, at which point they would go away forever.

Joona
November 11, 2009, 20:38
I don't actually know how the random artifacts work from game to game. If I keep using the same save file, game after game, death after death, do the artifacts remain the same? (Can Mr. Weakling XXVII, the Unemployed Kobold find the same sword that his father held when he died in the dungeon bravely fighting a yellow mold?) If not, WHYYYYYYY?

Random uniques could work the same way though they'd have to be some how related to the creation random artifacts, rarities, levels and resistances provided to keep the game reasonable. In my opinion this would really add a lot to the game, not having to fight Smeagol and Bullroarer every time. Instead, there could be a unique gnome rogue with a cold-branded dagger waiting around the corner.

Maybe I should start a separate thread for this. People who haven't read this thread might have something to add...

Magnate
November 11, 2009, 22:20
I don't actually know how the random artifacts work from game to game. If I keep using the same save file, game after game, death after death, do the artifacts remain the same? (Can Mr. Weakling XXVII, the Unemployed Kobold find the same sword that his father held when he died in the dungeon bravely fighting a yellow mold?) If not, WHYYYYYYY?No. Artifacts are randomised at birth for every character.

Bandobras
November 12, 2009, 14:40
No. Artifacts are randomised at birth for every character.

Oh, really, I didn't know. In some variants you have a birth option for that, so that if you are bored with particular randarts, you request another set. Makes YASD just after finding a uber randart a bit less painful.