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Old Coach
January 23, 2012, 22:28
Been running mages. Early game I always seem to find a maul, which the mages can use. Maul does better damage than any spell. I just keep pounding things with the mauls instead of mm or stink etc.
Are mauls found at too shallow a depth?

Derakon
January 23, 2012, 23:04
Given the mage's rather pathetic finesse and prowess stats, the maul should only be doing slightly more than its 4d4 damage dice in terms of damage per round. Doesn't magic missile start at 3d4 and ramp up with level? And of course you don't have to stand in melee range to use it. Granted that running out of mana is an issue with spells.

If the mage really is better off standing in melee and bashing things over the head in the early game, then we might want to tweak things. Your mage should be barely able to swing that maul, which should manifest itself as a penalty at some level. Hit chance is the obvious possibility.

Old Coach
January 24, 2012, 04:38
With the starting dagger, I can't ever do damage to anything. With a whip, small weapon, or anything else you find in DL 1-5, I also can't even scratch a centipede. Same thing with a ranger using the dagger or small weapon. However, with a maul, I can actually do damage when I connect. I like the new combat system, but maybe we need to tweak it a bit. Just a bit, like making the heavy weapons a bit deeper.
Also, I usually give my mages a strength of 14 or 15 at the cost of con and dex so I can carry lots of stuff.

Estie
January 25, 2012, 01:57
Need to play the new v4 soon...but is dagger really horrible for a ranger ? It should be the most damaging weapon for finesse (dex) charcters, no ?

Derakon
January 25, 2012, 03:05
Daggers are 1d4, 80/20 finesse/prowess. Rapiers are 1d6, 90/10, so they should be superior to daggers for any character with more finesse than prowess.

The problem appears to be that monster AC is now absorption instead of a chance-to-hit reducer, and centipedes have an AC of 2. Thus any attack that deals 2 or less damage will deal 0 damage -- and all attacks deal 2 less damage than they "normally" would. For a ranger with a dagger, that means your damage options are 0, 0, 1, 2; given that giant white centipedes have 9HP on average that means you're looking at 12 rounds of combat to kill one, again on average.

I think what happened here is that fizzix underestimated the utility of absorption on early monsters. Here's absorption values for the 50' monsters:Grey mold: 1
Grey mushroom patch: 1
Giant yellow centipede: 2
Giant white centipede: 2
White icky thing: 2
Clear icky thing: 1
Giant white mouse: 1
Large brown snake: 3
Large white snake: 3
Small kobold: 1
White worm mass: 1
Floating eye: 1
Rock lizard: 1
Jackal: 1
Soldier ant: 2
Fruit bat: 1I'd recommend changing everything that currently has absorption of 1 to absorption of 0, and everything that has absorption of more than 1 to absorption of 1.

Estie
January 25, 2012, 06:23
So rapiers are higher ratio than daggers ? ok...

Im not sure reducing absorption of early monsters is going to solve, because later in the game the absorption will have at least the same impact if not more. Doesnt finesse need a bit more oomph with the absorption change ? Like, "more attacks" or something.

Derakon
January 25, 2012, 16:17
We're also going to need to tweak the damage dice on weapons, yeah. Currently the weapons that you want to make single heavy blows with already get big dice, while the weapons you want to make lots of light blows with have small dice, which makes prowess qualitatively way better than finesse. Ideally they should have roughly similar dice.

But the default amount of absorption should IMO be 0, just as the default amount of evasion should be 0. Against most monsters you should deal full damage with your strikes, and the exceptions should be carefully scaled by dungeon level -- which means that 50' monsters with good absorption should still have almost none.

Tiburon Silverflame
January 25, 2012, 23:51
Hmm, this may well be behind the reports, in the other thread, of problems with rangers and the inability to do damage with archery.

Absorption has an inherent problem, tho. Its net impact is highly dependent on how many individual attacks are involved; ergo it's not, and indeed cannot be, consistent. It favors big, heavy, few-attack weapons. It doesn't matter how you manipulate damage dice; this will be true regardless. It's a consequence of the fixed amount of reduction. If it was a percentage reduction, this effect wouldn't exist.

Estie
January 26, 2012, 00:10
Percentage reduction would be boring though; exactly the fact that absorbtion affects the damage differently is adding another dimension. The basic idea is that finesse characters have no problems with evasion monsters, but hard time with absorbing ones, and prowess characters other way around.

Seeing as we have all kinds of distributions between finesse and prowess, which dont do that much - you cannot really pick your exact favourite base type, you just have to take what you find with the best mods - would it be bad to classify all swords as 80/20, all polearms as 50/50, and all hafted as 20/80 ?
Each of those classes have damage dice rising from lower level (dagger, spear, whip) to highest (BoC, SoS, MoD) so that would be ok.

Derakon
January 26, 2012, 00:12
The effect is currently magnified by the dice biases, though. Finesse weapons typically have a max per-blow damage of around 8 or so, while prowess weapons can go much higher. Then the multipliers kick in (extra blows / extra per-blow damage) which only magnify that difference.

If we want finesse and prowess characters to be capable of equal damage, then we either need to make the damage dice on the weapons equal, or we need to magnify the effect of finesse (or nerf the effect of prowess). Personally I'd prefer tweaking the damage dice.

Then you have e.g. a 2d3 dagger and a 1d10 rapier vs. a 2d4 mace and a 5d2 great hammer. And, yes, the prowess weapons will still be more effective against monsters with absorption -- but the finesse weapons will be equivalently more effective against monsters with evasion. Assuming the two groupings represent equivalent threats the game should still be balanced either way.

ekolis
January 26, 2012, 01:04
What if you changed the absorption to work sort of like Sil's armor - instead of 6 absorption meaning -6 damage to all attacks, it could instead mean -1d6 damage to all attacks, so even weak attacks have a chance to penetrate?

LostTemplar
January 26, 2012, 08:06
IMHO current armor is somewhat a step back. Basically you have removed raw +damage bonuses from combat system but added raw -damage. Ovearall + or - raw damage effectiveness depends too strongly on blows.

Magnate
January 26, 2012, 14:57
IMHO current armor is somewhat a step back. Basically you have removed raw +damage bonuses from combat system but added raw -damage. Ovearall + or - raw damage effectiveness depends too strongly on blows.But that's consistent with what we're trying to achieve, which is a distinction between fast characters who hit lightly many times, and strong characters who hit heavily but less often. The current absorption mechanic is exactly what we need for this, and avoids the need for the extra die rolls in Sil's system.

IMO finesse weapons should have lots of small dice: 2d3, 4d2, etc., while prowess weapons should have a small number of big dice. This means things like mauls and great hammers need to change quite a bit. IMO this would give finesse characters additional consistency and prowess chars a bit more unpredictability, to balance out the inherent advantages of prowess.

But this does mean that monster absorption values need to be carefully set to avoid too many of them being immune to unboosted physical attacks. I agree that the default value should be zero, and that 50' monsters should not really have absorption of more than 1.

half
January 26, 2012, 16:11
Note that for two weapons with the same mean damage, the one with the higher variance is typically better in systems with damage reduction, since the damage reduction is subtracted off, with a minimum total of zero.

ghengiz
January 26, 2012, 17:51
Note that for two weapons with the same mean damage, the one with the higher variance is typically better in systems with damage reduction, since the damage reduction is subtracted off, with a minimum total of zero.

I don't get it...the minimum damage is
Max[
0,
(minimum damage of the weapon)-(damage reduction)
]
or is it?
so why should a larger variance give a minimum total of zero?

half
January 26, 2012, 18:39
Sorry if I explained this poorly. Imagine fighting a creature with damage reduction 4. One character does 4d1 damage (average = 4) so always does zero damage overall. The other does 1d7 damage (average = 4) and does 0, 1, 2 or 3 damage. The extra variance helped.

ghengiz
January 26, 2012, 18:54
Sorry if I explained this poorly. Imagine fighting a creature with damage reduction 4. One character does 4d1 damage (average = 4) so always does zero damage overall. The other does 1d7 damage (average = 4) and does 0, 1, 2 or 3 damage. The extra variance helped.

I see your point, and it is a valid one...but I'm afraid that a bigger variance is needed, because the 'real' mean damage is the weighted mean, that is

(0*4 + 1*1 +2*1 + 3*1) / (4 + 1 + 1 + 1) = 6/7 <1.

Does Sil consider fractional damage too? :)

This is just the 'real' _mean_ damage, I agree that your point is valid.

edit:
note: the weights are those ones because with an 1d7 you have an uniform distribution, so, considering the damage reduction of 4, you can obtain 1,2,3 points of damage exactly once, with a dice output of 5,6,7 respectively. OTOH, you have zero damage in the rest of the cases, which are 7-3=4.

Old Coach
January 27, 2012, 02:43
I am glad that we are trying to fix the problem of older versions where every class did better damage with a dagger than with a long sword at early levels. It was always frustrating that Nimthanc was better for a Warrior than a great axe until strength and dex were maxed out.
So, we are on the right track here. I am of the opinion that for most monsters, the large weapons should deal the most damage. Of course, there will be exceptions, but I think that for most monsters the quick attacks with a dagger should not be more effective than a warrior with a two handed great flail, for instance. Maybe just a little fine tuning is all that is needed.

Scatha
January 27, 2012, 13:25
It seems that you'd like to have some monsters be tougher for heavy weapon users, and some tougher for light weapon users. At the moment, if I understand it correctly, you're aiming for a default where most enemies have no absorption and no special evasion, but some have one or the other (or both?).

I just wanted to point out that it's possible to achieve this with just the damage absorption. You balance the weapons so that the damage output will be around the same against foes with a default (non-zero) absorption. Then light weapon users with many attacks will do more damage than heavy weapon users against lighter-than-usually armoured enemies, but less damage against heavier-than-usually armoured enemies. There is a little asymmetry in the system: heavy weapons will be able to kill everything, just a bit more slowly for some enemies, whereas light weapons might have real difficulty against the most heavily armoured opponents. But I think that this asymmetry may actually be helpful in making them feel different, rather than just two equivalent but differently named approaches.

Aside: The Sil combat system is rather more complicated than would be needed to achieve this goal, but helps add other parts of tactical depth. We do have evasion as well as absorption as a major mechanic, with also hitting-by-a-lot getting criticals. We don't have any more attacks for light than heavy weapons (usually just one attack per round in all cases), so we use the criticals to differentiate between the weapons. As a result, we also need to have some monsters which are resistant to critical hits to be a challenge for the light weapon users. Being able to vary the number of attacks gives you a very useful extra parameter to vary for balancing purposes (although also gives message spam). Sil doesn't actually need the damage absorption to be variable rather than flat: sure we might need to rebalance a couple of things if we changed, but the basic gameplay is stable.

Estie
January 28, 2012, 13:01
The main reason to have evasion and absorbtion is not so much to make the monsters feel different, but eventually to also apply it to the @, afaik.