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Matthias
June 10, 2007, 00:50
One of the goals of Unangband is to increase the complexity of melee combat. And while this gives a headache to my simple warrior loving self, I can't deny the fact that it is a good idea.
Andrew has implemented many ideas to reach this goal: Blocking and Dodging for a more tacktical combat; Monsters that resist edged or blunt weapons or both, as well as "huge" monsters that require a special charge move to be attacked efficiently. This is, from playing experience only, how charging works in the current version:

Each weapon has a charging multiply factor, that is bigger for heavy weapons. Daggers have a factor of 2, big lances go up to something like 8. To do a charge, there has to be one empty place between you and the monster. Then, move a step towards it, and use the next turn to attack. If successfull, you will do exactly one blow with your weapon, but the damage will get multiplied by the given factor. Monsters with the "huge" flag will evade most of your attacks, unless you charge them.

I like the concept of charging, but I don't really like the current implementation. Currenty, fighting big monsters deep down is not fun. Assume your warrior standing next to a Stonetroll. You move back, monster will follow -> No change happened. (That is, if you have more room to move back, something usually not true deeper down.) Or it will not follow; in that case it will throw a large rock at you instead. Then you step forward and get attacked once more. Then you do the charge, and get attacked a third time. A total of 3 troll attacks for one of yours. And that one attack of yours is exactly one heavy blow, with a good chance of actually missing. That makes it more or less better to just stay and miss 5 of your 7 normal blows for three turn. You won't believe how frustrating that is until you cross ways with your first troll pit :rolleyes:

And that's just deeper down. The other reason for the charge implementation, and source of my recent complain is to reduce the power of light weapons early on. As you have no control, your attack will always be a charge if you did a walk in that direction before. This of course turns daggers into worse starting weapons. However i believe this to be just a wanted sideeffect of charging. Hengband has maximum skill levels for every weapon that can be set different for every class. So you want your Warriors and Paladins to use long swords & heavier? Well, give them a toHit bonus of -15 for lighter weapons instead.

So how to change it? Well I would make charging always rewarding, just less rewarding for lighter weapons. Change it to charge your one blow into the heavy one like it is now, but follow a normal attack the same turn.

For an example let's compare a) longsword 2d5 chargefactor 3 and b) dagger 1d4 chargefactor 2. Further assume +10 total melee bonus and 2 vs. 4 blows

This is a typical second dive scenario for a warrior, and the dagger easily wins 2*(2d5+10) = 32 < 50 = 4 * (1d4+10)

Now with the proposed change this would change to
3*(2d5+10)+32 and 2*(1d4+10)+50 =
80 for a) and 75 for b)

The heavier weapon wins as planned :) Now this is a lot damage and might cause different problems, however this is just for early game, and Andrew himself said early game might be too hard. The more intresing part is late game anyway, the time in the game that charge is most intresting.

You will likely have 6 blows, and a weapon heavy enough to get a multiplicator of 4-5. Without charge you will connect about 1-2 of your 6 blows doing 3*1.5*Blow = 4.5*Blow over three turns.
With the current charge system you'll waste two turns and will then get 4.5*Blow over three turns as well. Actually about 75% of that because of missing. So the current system would be fair if charging would never miss. Assuming a heavier weapon you could tweak this to the better but weapons are rare in Un, so good luck finding a heavy weapon that is also nicely enchanted. You defenitly won't have it in the Troll zone.
With my chargesystem this would change to 9*blow over three turns, that's 1/2 of the normal three turn damage. You will likely still want to carry a very heavy swap...

So... discuss. I'm especially intresting in hearing about others who played 062 Unangband deeper than lvl40.

CJNyfalt
June 10, 2007, 04:13
I'm not familiar with Unangband, but IMO polearms should have a big charge factor, swords a medium and everything else a small one.

andrewdoull
June 10, 2007, 11:22
I like the concept of charging, but I don't really like the current implementation. Currenty, fighting big monsters deep down is not fun. Assume your warrior standing next to a Stonetroll. You move back, monster will follow -> No change happened. (That is, if you have more room to move back, something usually not true deeper down.)

Huge monsters should try to strike you with a range 2 melee attacks as well.

Or it will not follow; in that case it will throw a large rock at you instead. Then you step forward and get attacked once more. Then you do the charge, and get attacked a third time. A total of 3 troll attacks for one of yours. And that one attack of yours is exactly one heavy blow, with a good chance of actually missing. That makes it more or less better to just stay and miss 5 of your 7 normal blows for three turn. You won't believe how frustrating that is until you cross ways with your first troll pit :rolleyes:
Um, there aren't any troll pits in Unangband... point taken though.


And that's just deeper down. The other reason for the charge implementation, and source of my recent complain is to reduce the power of light weapons early on. As you have no control, your attack will always be a charge if you did a walk in that direction before. This of course turns daggers into worse starting weapons. However i believe this to be just a wanted sideeffect of charging. Hengband has maximum skill levels for every weapon that can be set different for every class. So you want your Warriors and Paladins to use long swords & heavier? Well, give them a toHit bonus of -15 for lighter weapons instead.

So how to change it? Well I would make charging always rewarding, just less rewarding for lighter weapons. Change it to charge your one blow into the heavy one like it is now, but follow a normal attack the same turn.

For an example let's compare a) longsword 2d5 chargefactor 3 and b) dagger 1d4 chargefactor 2. Further assume +10 total melee bonus and 2 vs. 4 blows

This is a typical second dive scenario for a warrior, and the dagger easily wins 2*(2d5+10) = 32 < 50 = 4 * (1d4+10)

Now with the proposed change this would change to
3*(2d5+10)+32 and 2*(1d4+10)+50 =
80 for a) and 75 for b)

The heavier weapon wins as planned :) Now this is a lot damage and might cause different problems, however this is just for early game, and Andrew himself said early game might be too hard. The more intresing part is late game anyway, the time in the game that charge is most intresting.

You will likely have 6 blows, and a weapon heavy enough to get a multiplicator of 4-5. Without charge you will connect about 1-2 of your 6 blows doing 3*1.5*Blow = 4.5*Blow over three turns.
With the current charge system you'll waste two turns and will then get 4.5*Blow over three turns as well. Actually about 75% of that because of missing. So the current system would be fair if charging would never miss. Assuming a heavier weapon you could tweak this to the better but weapons are rare in Un, so good luck finding a heavy weapon that is also nicely enchanted. You defenitly won't have it in the Troll zone.
With my chargesystem this would change to 9*blow over three turns, that's 1/2 of the normal three turn damage. You will likely still want to carry a very heavy swap...

So... discuss. I'm especially intresting in hearing about others who played 062 Unangband deeper than lvl40.FYI There is a bug/feature at the moment, that allows you to attack in one direction, then attack in the opposite direction, e.g. because you are surrounded by monsters. The 2nd attack will count as a charge.

So suggestions are:

a) make charging never miss (huge monsters only might balance it better)
b) make charging blow add to normal blows.

and I could propose on the basis of the above bug/feature

c) make charging happen every two turns instead, against huge monsters.

Did you want to combine a & b? Its not clear from reading your comments...

BTW: I'm worried/intrigued about the 'weapons are rare in Unangband' comment. What's taking its place in drops? If its not armour, I could increase the overall chance of having a good/great item, which would mean that weapons would be rare but more useful when found...

Andrew

andrewdoull
June 10, 2007, 11:42
c) make charging happen every two turns instead, against huge monsters.


Just to clarify, there are several ways of doing this.

One would be to automatically push back the player to their previous location after they charge a huge monster.

e.g.

D.@

player moves in

D@.

player does charge attack

'You charge the dragon. You are thrown clear.'

D.@


This would cut down the overall number of key presses required to fight a huge monster and allow you to attack it every 2 turns. I'd have to figure out what to do if a monster follows you behind - either push it back, or move it between you and the dragon. There's also scenarios where a terrain change blocks you being thrown back.

The downside with this is that its harder to fight the huge monster without charging. But that might be a good thing for a newbie who doesn't understand the mechanic cleanly.

Thoughts?

Bandobras
June 10, 2007, 15:22
It seems Matthias indeed has a point. I think there are many ways to solve the problem. I'd choose one that is the simplest and the most similar to how other things in Un work. E.g. make charging last 2 turns, just as blocking does. Or make it that *every* attack after a move is a charge, regardless of the direction of the move. So you don't charge only if you block (after standing still for one turn) or if you attacked the previous turn (in whatever direction). Etc., etc., there are lots of possibilities and only thoughtful players, like Matthias, can accurately evaluate them based on their experience, perhaps after some play-testing.

Edit: or make it that charging works only if the last move was exactly towards the monster, but the moster is thrown back 2 steps after the charge. Then if there is another monster or a wall, the monster collides with them with various deadly effects (see e.g. the game IVAN, for some ideas).

Matthias
June 10, 2007, 16:56
Um, there aren't any troll pits in Unangband... point taken though.


Hmm I'm sure I had at least one of them with my archer.... Could have been giants too. Something big, that for sure..



FYI There is a bug/feature at the moment, that allows you to attack in one direction, then attack in the opposite direction, e.g. because you are surrounded by monsters. The 2nd attack will count as a charge.

So suggestions are:

a) make charging never miss (huge monsters only might balance it better)
b) make charging blow add to normal blows.

and I could propose on the basis of the above bug/feature

c) make charging happen every two turns instead, against huge monsters.

Did you want to combine a & b? Its not clear from reading your comments...



My suggestion was b) only.
If you do a) then, from my experience, charging would be about equal to normal hits, and so, still not worth it. I agree that if charge always hits, it should do so for huge monsters only, or melee would be too easy for caster classes. It kind of makes sense too. A combination of both might go to far.
Maybe adding half of the blows might work.


BTW: I'm worried/intrigued about the 'weapons are rare in Unangband' comment. What's taking its place in drops? If its not armour, I could increase the overall chance of having a good/great item, which would mean that weapons would be rare but more useful when found...


This is a result of monster that are only able to drop some kinds of object. I think I suggested to make half of the drops random, and the other half following the current rules. If that is implemented already, ignore the point about not enough weapons until i could test it for a while...