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slashme
February 11, 2008, 10:40
I think fear is kind of broken in Angband. If you frighten monsters, they run away. If they frighten you, you can stay around and shoot. I would say the guy who stands toe-to-toe with a nether wraith calmly loading his heavy crossbow has more balls than the daily lottery, and is most certainly not mortally terrified.

I would think fear would be much scarier and more interesting if it made you move randomly away from the last monster to cast fear on you, unless you have no way past another monster. Then of course, you fight like a cornered rat. Basically just what the monsters do. Of course, this would make fear very dangerous (about as bad as confusion).

zaimoni
February 11, 2008, 16:07
Monsters are not prohibited from using ranged attacks/spells while afraid, if they have them. They just don't do so more frequently.

Properly rebalancing this is tricky.

Big Al
February 11, 2008, 19:38
I wrote a patch a few months ago that kind of fixed the fear in Angband (or at least I think I does); I changed it so that the chance of successfully attacking a monster (via ANY means - melee, ranged or attack spells) is based on how close you are to the nearest hostile monster. Eg. you would have a 5% chance of attacking if there was a wakened monster right beside you, and a 95% of attacking a monster if the nearest awake monster were, say, ten squares away. The chance reduces linearly between the two. This way, it keeps the current system where you can't really melee when you're afraid, and you can still use ranged/spell attacks from a distance, but fixes the incongruities of being able to shoot an arrow at point blank but not attack. I had to add another flag in spell.txt to say whether a given spell is an 'attack' spell or not.

It adds more tactical strategies to fighting; eg. a mage might phase door away to get a better (farther) shot on a monster. Also, it makes the really weak monsters on the level important again - if a high level monster casts fear on you from a distance and there happens to be a mouse right beside you, the mouse there will prevent you from attacking the high level monster. I tested this out on the first thousand feet or so and it seemed to work ok, though it might need some tweaking.

I think that having a (very small) chance to melee the monsters when feared is much more interesting than the flat out all-or-nothing it is now. (EDIT: changed 'not melee' to 'melee')

myron
February 11, 2008, 19:53
I wrote a patch a few months ago that kind of fixed the fear in Angband (or at least I think I does); I changed it so that the chance of successfully attacking a monster (via ANY means - melee, ranged or attack spells) is based on how close you are to the nearest hostile monster. Eg. you would have a 5% chance of attacking if there was a wakened monster right beside you, and a 95% of attacking a monster if the nearest awake monster were, say, ten squares away. The chance reduces linearly between the two. This way, it keeps the current system where you can't really melee when you're afraid, and you can still use ranged/spell attacks from a distance, but fixes the incongruities of being able to shoot an arrow at point blank but not attack. I had to add another flag in spell.txt to say whether a given spell is an 'attack' spell or not.

It adds more tactical strategies to fighting; eg. a mage might phase door away to get a better (farther) shot on a monster. Also, it makes the really weak monsters on the level important again - if a high level monster casts fear on you from a distance and there happens to be a mouse right beside you, the mouse there will prevent you from attacking the high level monster. I tested this out on the first thousand feet or so and it seemed to work ok, though it might need some tweaking.

I think that having a (very small) chance to not melee the monsters when feared is much more interesting than the flat out all-or-nothing it is now.Sounds like a nice patch...probably something that could be incorporated into Vanilla...

slashme
February 12, 2008, 07:08
...so that the chance of successfully attacking a monster (via ANY means - melee, ranged or attack spells) is based on how close you are to the nearest hostile monster....

Sounds very interesting. I'd still also like a saving throw each turn to determine whether you do what you intended, or run away one space. Sort of "I'll frost bolt that Ancient Red Dragon now. Shit, no. He's too scary. Run away!"

Big Al
February 12, 2008, 08:41
I figure it'd be nicer to let the user decide how to run away then for the computer to force you to. I mean, if you, a mage, were scared for your life, would you try to take a step or two back, or teleport away? There are many ways to get rid of fear, or to get yourself out of a fearful situation; why limit the tactical options? Most realistically, the game would roll a saving roll at the start of your turn; if you succeed, then you can do anything you want that turn; if you fail, then you're only allowed to do 'fearful' activities (eg. moving away, healing yourself, teleporting away, etc.) - however this is rather unrealistic to implement, I think.

It might also be interesting to make it so that if the player loses, say, more than half his or her HP in a single round, they get afraid, much in the way that monsters do the other way around now. Then again, that would only make the big breathers even more dangerous than they already are, which is probably not a good thing.

Part of the problem is that 95% of the player fear in Angband is caused by magical means, not physical/mental ones. I guess there's nothing really wrong with the current system if you interpret "the novice paladin casts a terrifying illusion" to mean "the novice paladin casts a spell that makes you forget how to use your melee weapon" -- to fix the problem instead of fixing the solution.

slashme
February 12, 2008, 12:39
[hypothetical] I figure it'd be nicer to let the user decide how to run away then for the computer to force you to. I mean, if you, a mage, were scared for your life, would you try to take a step or two back, or teleport away? There are many ways to get rid of fear, or to get yourself out of a fearful situation; why limit the tactical options?...

I'd prefer the pseudo-confusion thing: It would simulate blind panic more accurately. Maybe a really bad saving throw gets you the message "you are petrified with fear" and you stand still for a round, and a normal failure gets you "you run in terror" moving you away from the monster. "Yes, I know I have a teleport staff right here, but right now I can't keep my legs from running." Maybe a really good saving throw cures the fear?

It might also be interesting to make it so that if the player loses, say, more than half his or her HP in a single round, they get afraid, much in the way that monsters do the other way around now. Then again, that would only make the big breathers even more dangerous than they already are, which is probably not a good thing.

I like this suggestion! Once again, make it a saving throw thing. Anyway, by the time you get to the real heavy breathers, you'll probably have resist fear.

kathoum
February 12, 2008, 15:01
I'd really like to see this idea implemented, it would add flavour to the game.

I'd prefer the pseudo-confusion thing: It would simulate blind panic more accurately. Maybe a really bad saving throw gets you the message "you are petrified with fear" and you stand still for a round, and a normal failure gets you "you run in terror" moving you away from the monster. "Yes, I know I have a teleport staff right here, but right now I can't keep my legs from running." Maybe a really good saving throw cures the fear?

I like this suggestion! Once again, make it a saving throw thing. Anyway, by the time you get to the real heavy breathers, you'll probably have resist fear.

Paralysis by fear is already present in O, but only from very few really big breathers: http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=5679

Having the same effect from deep wraiths and ghosts (both spells and physical attacks) is a nice idea.

Dario

daft
March 5, 2008, 18:37
I think I would prefer to keep my poise while experiencing fear. After all, aren't our characters supposed to be heroic? Anyone apt to go all crazy-legs after seeing a scary monster would probably be happier staying in town, arm-in-arm with the happy, singing drunk, rather than scurrying down, level after level, deeper into the monster pits.

Confusion is nasty enough! I don't need another reason to bounce off the walls haphazardly. Knowing my luck I'd get scared by some wicked thing and then start bouncing back and forth between every nearby monster, like a pinball bouncing from bumper to bumper! Ding!...Ding!...Ding!...

I believe characters should experience fear but I don't believe they are the sort of characters that should lose their sense of self-preservation.

MKula
March 8, 2008, 18:56
I think I would prefer to keep my poise while experiencing fear. After all, aren't our characters supposed to be heroic? Anyone apt to go all crazy-legs after seeing a scary monster would probably be happier staying in town, arm-in-arm with the happy, singing drunk, rather than scurrying down, level after level, deeper into the monster pits.

This is one of the main reasons why I'm a proponent of giving all classes natural fear resistance after a certain Clvl (a la current Warriors at lvl30). I find it rather odd and unfair that after all that time staring vile and unspeakably evil monsters in the face, a Warrior naturally stops being scared of Poltergeists, but mages and paladins don't.

d1sc0nnected
March 8, 2008, 20:23
I think this is more of a balance issue than a flavor issue..

Yeah, warriors get fear resisitance at clvl 30...but mages get phase door at level 2.

The ONLY advantages of a warrior post stat-gain are >blows per round, and fear resistance.

zaimoni
March 8, 2008, 22:40
I'm not at all sure Fear Resistance is actually useful when monsters are casting spells intelligently. Perhaps if magical fear was more effective.

As it is, I'd rather have Cause Fear cast than nether bolts. Fear Resistance with intelligent spellcasting assures that Cause Fear won't be cast.

MKula
March 9, 2008, 04:15
Perhaps we could allow stronger monsters bypass fear resistance? Similar to how stronger monsters (esp. Time hounds/vortices) can overcome sustains?

Pete Mack
March 9, 2008, 05:40
This is one of the main reasons why I'm a proponent of giving all classes natural fear resistance after a certain Clvl (a la current Warriors at lvl30). I find it rather odd and unfair that after all that time staring vile and unspeakably evil monsters in the face, a Warrior naturally stops being scared of Poltergeists, but mages and paladins don't.


As a previous poster said, it is a balance issue. Warriors need a break; other classes don't. In fact, the only class affected significantly in the late game is Paladin, and Paladin gets a Boldness spell.

Mage and Priest have very good saving throws, and thus are rarely affected by fear after cl 40. And Rogue and Ranger get Heroism and Berserk spells, and thus are rarely affected by fear after cl 40-45.

zaimoni
March 9, 2008, 14:56
Yes, Warriors need a break.

I'm just not sure that Fear Resistance is a break. It certainly is a negative on the Metal-Shod Boots of Thror starting around DL 38.

will_asher
March 9, 2008, 15:57
DaJAngband's solution (not in the current release but will be in the next one) is that most tougher monsters get breathe fear instead of the scare spell, and they will breathe fear even if the player has fear resistance because it still does some damage and it has a small chance of bypassing resistance.

Anne
March 9, 2008, 16:05
Just a random thought that occurred while reading this thread, but it would be realistic for the first appearance of certain monsters to cause fear in a hero, since the dangers are still unknown about it. And then once he's defeated the first one (or first several?), he becomes more confident - he knows more about that monster's attacks and what to do to defeat it, so maybe he'd be immune to fear from that type of monster from that point on. Maybe coding that would be more of a pain than it's worth anyway, just thought I'd mention it.

takkaria
January 7, 2009, 12:36
I wrote a patch a few months ago that kind of fixed the fear in Angband (or at least I think I does); I changed it so that the chance of successfully attacking a monster (via ANY means - melee, ranged or attack spells) is based on how close you are to the nearest hostile monster. Eg. you would have a 5% chance of attacking if there was a wakened monster right beside you, and a 95% of attacking a monster if the nearest awake monster were, say, ten squares away. The chance reduces linearly between the two. This way, it keeps the current system where you can't really melee when you're afraid, and you can still use ranged/spell attacks from a distance, but fixes the incongruities of being able to shoot an arrow at point blank but not attack. I had to add another flag in spell.txt to say whether a given spell is an 'attack' spell or not.

It adds more tactical strategies to fighting; eg. a mage might phase door away to get a better (farther) shot on a monster. Also, it makes the really weak monsters on the level important again - if a high level monster casts fear on you from a distance and there happens to be a mouse right beside you, the mouse there will prevent you from attacking the high level monster. I tested this out on the first thousand feet or so and it seemed to work ok, though it might need some tweaking.

I think that having a (very small) chance to melee the monsters when feared is much more interesting than the flat out all-or-nothing it is now. (EDIT: changed 'not melee' to 'melee')

I'd be interested in seeing this patch, though I think perhaps it is a bit more complex than it needs to be. For now, I've made the following changes relating to fear: (these will be in the upcoming 3.1 beta)

- Being afraid gives you a to-hit penalty of 20, so ranged attacks become much harder, but also an AC bonus of 8
- Being afraid adds a 20% failure chance to spells/prayers, before the minimum fail rate kicks in, but spells that cure fear have had their fail rates reduced by 20% as well, so this balances out
- Potions that cure fear are cheaper still

Ideas for the future include:
- Not disallowing melee attacks as at present, but instead just having that huge to-hit penalty, and an appropriate warning when an attack fails ("You miss the x because you are too afraid!")
- Only increasing failure chances on combat spells

Thoughts?

Mangojuice
January 7, 2009, 14:08
I'd be interested in seeing this patch, though I think perhaps it is a bit more complex than it needs to be. For now, I've made the following changes relating to fear: (these will be in the upcoming 3.1 beta)

- Being afraid gives you a to-hit penalty of 20, so ranged attacks become much harder, but also an AC bonus of 8
- Being afraid adds a 20% failure chance to spells/prayers, before the minimum fail rate kicks in, but spells that cure fear have had their fail rates reduced by 20% as well, so this balances out
- Potions that cure fear are cheaper still

Ideas for the future include:
- Not disallowing melee attacks as at present, but instead just having that huge to-hit penalty, and an appropriate warning when an attack fails ("You miss the x because you are too afraid!")
- Only increasing failure chances on combat spells

Thoughts?

I don't like the to-hit penalty idea: it doesn't make sense to me that it would effectively be harder to overcome fear against heavily armored opponents.

Instead, being terrified should be something you have to overcome before you attack, but once you do your attack should be at full quality. What about the following simple system:

On every turn, if the player wants to do anything other than move (or certain other move actions, like opening a door) they have to make some kind of saving throw; perhaps they have a 50% chance of being able to do anything other than move. If they fail the saving throw, they expend no energy but instead enter a state where the game remembers that you are afraid and failed your saving throw, and then no new saving throw is allowed; you automatically fail. The only action you can take is to move.

The current system is actually a little stupid. If you are too afraid to attack a monster, why would you waste a turn not attacking them? A real afraid person would simply not try to attack the monster... in effect the waste of a turn is a penalty on the player for bad roleplaying (they're not pretending to be scared).

Some kinds of actions should be maybe considered low-fear, like quaffing a potion; others may be high-fear (such as attacking a monster in melee). Or maybe all actions become high fear when a monster is next to you?

If it's desired for fear to affect your ability to do things other than fight, I think this is a good way to go.

Elsairon
January 7, 2009, 16:58
Just a random thought that occurred while reading this thread, but it would be realistic for the first appearance of certain monsters to cause fear in a hero, since the dangers are still unknown about it. And then once he's defeated the first one (or first several?), he becomes more confident - he knows more about that monster's attacks and what to do to defeat it, so maybe he'd be immune to fear from that type of monster from that point on.

I like this idea. Uniques would need handling in a different manner ( since they each only die once, the player would always be afraid ).

A way around this would be resist fear effects that could wear off after n turns (already in place?).

d_m
January 7, 2009, 17:02
Just a random thought that occurred while reading this thread, but it would be realistic for the first appearance of certain monsters to cause fear in a hero, since the dangers are still unknown about it. And then once he's defeated the first one (or first several?), he becomes more confident - he knows more about that monster's attacks and what to do to defeat it, so maybe he'd be immune to fear from that type of monster from that point on. Maybe coding that would be more of a pain than it's worth anyway, just thought I'd mention it.

This seems OK as long as there was also some depth check. If I dive to dungeon-level 20 and then randomly encounter a white centipede for the first time, I'm not sure fear would be appropriate.

Maybe it could be such that encountering out-of-depth monsters (e.g. monsters who are from a much lower dungeon level) have a % chance to generate a fear effect?

Big Al
January 7, 2009, 19:33
I'd be interested in seeing this patch, though I think perhaps it is a bit more complex than it needs to be.

I reformatted my hard drive several months ago and I'm pretty sure that it got lost somewhere along the way. I'm sure it would only take half a hour or so to piece together again from what I can remember from a year ago.

Your solution works too probably; I'll have to play around with it for a while to see how it plays out though. I don't really like the idea of making *all* spells harder to cast though: things like teleporting away or healing yourself should be not me penalized IMHO. I think that in my patch I added another field in spell.txt that determines if a spell is offensive or not. I like idea of a mage teleporting away at the last moment from a narrative viewpoint.

Edit: I like Anne's idea (in theory at least) too, but not sure how it would actually play out. Right now, pretty much the only way to get afraid is my magical means; but I like the idea of a huge ancient dragon towering over and terrifying you. Narratively, I like the of monsters that are out of depth enough terrifying you.

Big Al
January 8, 2009, 08:14
And another thought: now melee, ranged weapons and spells are penalized. What about wands? If we're going to take away spell casting, then should all magic go? A penalty to wand usage might be realistic in keeping with the theme of the rest of these changes, but is that too much?

In playing a bit of the new version this afternoon, I found myself feared and trapped in a corridor with no escape. The situation looked hopeless until I remembered the (otherwise often useless) wand of magic missiles I had picked up and blasted through with that. It was... more fun than normal play.

Also, my old patch is 90% rewritten, but I need sleep; I'll post it in the morning I hope. It was pretty straight forward so far.