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sethos
December 13, 2011, 03:31
Please forgive me for the length of the post below. I started working on this and couldn't put it down, so please let me know what your thoughts are.

I'd like to propose a major overhaul to how blows are calculated, that will most certailnly be unpopular, but would likely provide a good balance and also help to make heavy weapons far more useful for warrior types early on (and even a bit more useful @ endgame).

Blow calculations:
these should use five factors: strength / dexterity / weapon weight / Character level / extra blows (Items).

Really, the primary difference here is the use of clvl in the calculations. Should a level 1 fighter be able to swing ANY weapon 6 times? I don't think so. But as that fighter gains experience, he becomes more effective with his weapons, and can begin to get in extra swings against his foes.

I would recommend using only one set of formulas, that would place the normal maximum for blows @ 5. Warriors would have an inherent class benefit of +1 blows, and mage types currently limited to four blows would have an inherent class penalty of -1 blows, and weapons with +blows would also modify this number. (a warrior with a +2blows weapon would have a maximum of 8 blows.)

Here are my proposed formulas (which could later be tweaked, of course)

Clvl:
Your real maximum number of blows should be multiplied by a combination of (Clvl*.1+.50) and a modifier based on your dex to give you your actual number of blows (before weapon weight is factored).

Dexterity:
Okay, Here's a rant, because I'm a little grey on exactly what this should be:
Not sure exactly, but 10 dex should mean that even 8 maximum blows would be reduced to only 1 (.125 or thereabouts) and 40 (MAX) dex should be helpful as your character levels up, but less so @ maximum level. So, some formula or set of values where 10 gives a minimum result of .125 and 40 (18/***) gives a result of 1.25 or greater. a result of "1" should be around the 18/150 mark (between 32 and 34, I'd think) lets call this DexMod. here is where I'd start, though I think it's probably too harsh on the low side and a little too generous at the top:

dex 1-5 = dex*.01 (5 = .05)
dex 6-10 = (dex-5)*.015+.05 (10 = .125)
dex 11-15 = (dex-10)*.02+.125 (15 = .225)
dex 16-20 = (dex-15)*.03+.225 (20 or 18/20 = .375) warrior gets 2.2 blows @ clvl 50
dex 21-25 = (dex-20)*.04+.375 (25 or 18/70 = .575) warrior gets 3.4 blows @ clvl 50
dex 26-40 = (dex-25)*.05+.575 (30 or 18/120 = .825) warrior gets 4.9 blows @ clvl 50
(35 or 18/170 = 1.075) warrior gets 6 blows @ clvl 44
(40 or 18/*** = 1.325) warrior gets 6 blows @ clvl 25

Maximum weapon weight should be as follows:

Str 1-10 max weight = str*.5 lbs (min 3 str @ clvl 1 could still use a whip @ 1.2 lbs.) ( str 10 = 5 lbs.)
Str 11-20 (18/20) max weight = (str-10)*1+5 lbs. (str 18/20 = 15 lbs)
Str (18/30) 21-30 (18/120) = (str-20)*1.5+15 lbs. (Str 18/120 = 30 lbs)
str (18/130) 31-40 (18/***) = (str-30)*2+30 lbs. (max str could wield weapons up to 50 lbs, and still get max # of blows)

if weapon weight exceeds max weight, you get a str penalty to blows: Max weight / weapon weight) example: max strength would have a max weight of 50, grond weighs in @ 100 lbs, so 50/100 = .5 that would mean that yours blows are multiplied by .5 (or halved, for you non-numbers folks.) otherwise, this number would be 1. for my purposes, lets call this number StrMod

FORMULA HERE*****

All of these factors combined could look like this:

MaxBlows*DexMod*(clvl*.01+.5) = Blows (Rounded Down to the nearest tenth of a blow)
This number should be checked and adjusted to these constraints: Minimum = 1, maximum = maxblows
then, run it through the strength check:

Blows*StrMod = RealBlows (if the result here is less than 1, the weapon is currently unwieldable.

what do you think about this? The results of it would be very dramatic, so perhaps this idea could be toned down a bit, while still being useful.

Effectively, NO ONE would get more than 1.1~1.2 blows at the start of the game, and most characters will not get over 2 blows until they managed to get to statgain or stack some +dex items and/or a weapon with +blows in the early game. Rogues would be the first to get their extra blows, just before warriors (albeit with lighter weapons than warriors.) and starting "Strong" characters could wield most any weapon they can find, while "weak" characters would be unable to wield most of the really heavy weapons at the start of the game, and might only get 1-2 blows with a very heavy weapon near endgame. By the time warriors get extra blows, they SHOULD be able to use just about any weapon they please and still get their maximum # of swings. endgame changes would be that a max strength character would be able to get maximum blows with any weapon under 50 lbs (read: mace of disruption), and dex over 18/160 would cease to be useful for extra blows @Clvl50. This would be a large starting penalty to warrior types that would disappear as they level up/hit statgain, with an endgame reward for them near the endgame (1 more blow with heavy weapons, in most cases).

Please: let me know what you think about this, or let me know if it's unclear. I'd also love to see what str/dex/level combinations would grant certain numbers of blows, and Just don't have the patience to calculate it out beyond what I did to try to hone in my numbers. and, of course, someone might be able to come up with a more effecient formula that would net (nearly or exactly) the same results.

Extremes:
Wielding Grond would take a minimum strength @ lvl 50 for 1 blow of 18/90 for mage types, 18/40 for warriors, and 18/60 for others. stat gain would put a hobbit mage @ 18/30 strength after statgain with no +str items. I think that works out just fine, with very weak characters unable to wield very heavy weapons, even @ endgame.

sethos
December 13, 2011, 04:47
Okay, ran some quick numbers:
Level 1 high elf rogue (max str, max dex) would have 1.3 blows with any weapon under 16.5 lbs at the start.
level 1 high elf warrior (max str, max dex) would have 1.5 blows with any weapon under 19 lbs.

that same warrior would get 2 blows without any changes to his stats @ clvl 18. he would not get to 3 blows at all (even @ level 50)untill he improves his dex or gets items with +blows/+dex

so the warrior will still come out on top (combat wise) at the beginning of the game in my imaginary angband world. one disadvantage here is that High elf and Dunadan will gain levels slower, meaning they will get their extra blows much slower as well. This might make humans and other races a bit more attractive for warrior types.

emulord
December 13, 2011, 05:05
Great idea. +1 I approve.
This would have the added bonus of making the game harder. You would need to level up for more blows, rather than just diving for gear only.

Derakon
December 13, 2011, 06:11
Ugh, I'm really not fond of mechanics that place a huge emphasis on increasing your character level. I recognize the necessity of increasing some things with level but I'd rather not add to them any more than necessary. Particularly I'd rather the whole blows thing be more of a "I'd get more blows with this light weapon but even so I'd rather use a heavy one because blows are not the be-all and end-all of combat", not "I get the same number of blows with both weapons so I guess I'll just go with the heavy one." The latter feels more realistic, and certainly more organic, than the former.

sethos
December 13, 2011, 06:19
Thank you, Derakon, I'm glad to get feedback in both directions. not needing to get to Lvl 50 for your blows to hit maximum was something I didn't like either. That's why I set up the dexterity modifier the way I did, @ Clvl 25+ you can have the maximum number of blows, it just gets easier as you level up past that(ie. you can go with a set up that gives a bit less Dex- Of course, if you can get your dex to 18/*** by Clvl 25, you're doing fairly well, I think.

also, I was thinking along the lines of: does a warrior gain combat prowess as he gains experience (or any character for that matter). If so, why SHOULDN'T level be a factor in his Blows/Round. I also couldn't think of an angband-style way to make your point of view work - Then again, I haven't really given O combat much of a chance yet. I also think that I need to look @ how critical hits are calculated ( I think that +to hit and fighting skill should play a role in those - or perhaps a larger role if they already play a part in it.)

EDIT:
I just re-read your post... you actually said you didn't like the Clvl to be a factor, Sorry.
I'm afraid that I disagree there. och.

Derakon
December 13, 2011, 07:00
The suggestion I made in the "Combat revamp" thread was to replace to-hit with finesse and to-dam with power; both provide multipliers to your damage output but in different ways. Finesse provides extra blows (every 100 points of finesse = 1 extra blow), while power provides a damage multiplier (every 100 points of power = 1x more damage). The trick being that different weapons have different biases -- a dagger would get a lot of benefit from finesse, and thus plenty of blows per round, but it would get practically no benefit from power, so each of those blows would be weak. Similarly a maul would practically never get extra blows, but its blows would get big damage multipliers.

Since the problem with extra blows in the early game is that they get the full benefit of the player's STR bonus to damage, this would nip that problem quite cleanly, and in what I think is a pretty organic, emergent-behavior manner.

sethos
December 13, 2011, 07:13
That sounds like a good idea, but wouldn't that require each and every weapon to be balanced to those new (stats?/Skills?) - and wouldn't that also change the basic way that angband combat is done?

I'm not opposed to the idea, but it seems even more radical then mine- which would change some numbers around, change some minimums/maximums, and alter early gameplay (quite) a bit, but leave the basic structure of angband combat intact. I also feel that something down this road has a good "feel" to it, and still fixes the early game problems of "too many blows / light weapons are better".

buzzkill
December 13, 2011, 13:16
I suggested an early game change to blows in this thread (http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthread.php?t=4018). It was geared exclusively to the first 10-20 levels or so and didn't require any other changes IIRC. I didn't see it as a complete solution, but a hack/patch that would be easy to implement and might help a bit without changing too much.

I prefer Dearkons plan of the 2, assuming I understand the plans correctly (and I don't know if I get your completely, sethos. Too early in the morning to make sense of those formulas) for two reasons. It's easy to understand, light weapons need DEX, heavy weapons need STR, and it's notion that I've always liked. An 18/220 STR doesn't aid at all in wielding a dagger, AAMOF it's probably a hindrance.

sethos
December 13, 2011, 23:25
I've looked over Derakon's posting and it makes much more sense now that it's all laid out. I guess that the best thing I've got going for my line of thinking now is the fact that this change could likely be implemented without having to change anything else (meaning only the combat formulas would need be changed) As i've intentionally tried to keep to the way angband handles combat, as far as Maximum number of blows are concerned.

anything else should probably read MUCH else, since any change to combat would neccessitate some balance changes to the monsters at least, and some weapons would likely need tweaking as well. I'd theorize that this change would mean that we'd need deadlier monsters down at the bottom of the pits, which is good :) , while monsters at the top might be a bit too deadly for their levels - though warriors generally blow through the top few levels easily as it stands now.