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-   -   Weapon weights - a video (http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthread.php?t=10045)

Estie May 11, 2020 16:47

Weapon weights - a video
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38q-Ts0A8Yw

Here a collector weighs some of his historic (or replicated) swords and other weapons on camera.

Results are roughly:

Heaviest 2handed sword: 7 lbs
bigger swords, usable 1 or 2handed ("bastard sword"): 3 lbs
various 1-handed sword types (including rapier): 2-3 lbs
battle axe, warhammer: under 2lbs, lighter than most swords
smallsword (a gentleman's dueling weapon): less than 1 lb
spear: 3 lbs
2-handed axe: 4 lbs

luneya May 12, 2020 02:20

Yes, it's well understood that weapon "weights" in Angband (and D&D, etc.) do not reflect the actual weight of the weapon, but rather how burdensome a weapon is to carry. Even if they all have the same mass, a polearm will be more difficult to carry than a sword, which will be more difficult to carry than a dagger. Moreover, this burden applies across the acts of wielding the weapon, carrying it at the ready on a belt or harness, and merely carrying it in a pack along with other baggage.

I think the current weight system is a reasonably good approximation of how burdensome various types of equipment are to carry. The only change I would suggest is renaming the weight value to "[arbitrary] units of encumbrance" rather than "pounds of weight," so that pedants stop trying to correct us on how much any of this stuff physically weighs.

tangar May 12, 2020 08:03

Real-world and Tolkien's universe are different. So having precise weight for weapons as in real-world isn't crucial imho. We didn't had orcs, magic and dragons at the medieval streets after all..

Sky May 12, 2020 09:56

it's not a matter of historical accuracy. Did a historical dagger do 1d4 damage? A cutlass 1d8?
Because if you were trying to give an accurate, RPG-based answer, then combat damage would depend *exclusively* on the combatan't strength and skill.

Game weapon weight is not based on factual weight, but rather on an imaginary stat which dictates what damage die weapon use. Ignore it. Rename it if it really annoys you. It's purely a game mechanic.

Estie May 12, 2020 09:59

@luneya: The op is not a call for action, which is why I started a new thread and did not append it to "Fix weapon weights".

@tangar: No, I cant imagine orcs brandishing 15 lb swords.


What I took away from that video is this: (one handed) melee weapons made for battle weigh more or less the same regardless of historic period, region, weapon length or combat style used.

DnD started the simulation: Whats the difference between a shortsword and a longsword ? - The longsword does more damage!

The flaw with this became apparent when, in actual tabletop play, the question arose: Why would anyone ever use a shortsword ?

Various attempted answers ("The romans didnt have the technology yet", "its cheaper") in fashion similar to those from luneya's or tangar's remarks didnt satisfy whoever the frogknows dev was at the time, so he came up with his improved simulation:

The shortsword is lighter and can be applied more quickly, both types do the same damage over time!

Years back when I first understood this idea I really liked it and thought it was an increase in accuracy. However, in light of more recent information like the video linked above, I have come to the realization that it is not. I still like the angband combat system, but if I were to make my own game, I would try to find a different approach.

tangar May 12, 2020 10:13

Humans in real-life are not match to orcs (and humans) in Tolkien's universe :p

Donno, I see such stuff as traditional: oldies, but goldies. Game was polished and well-balanced for 30 years. Changing stuff with the reason to make it more realistic to real-life is dull imho. There are plenty of spots in the game to concentrate devs efforts, to enhance existing gameplay mechanics..

But I suppose if someone is really fun of this idea - he could create a variant based at actual V with such weapons and rebalance the game (preparing all the formulas and testing all stuff from 0 to 50 lvls with different chars) - if it will be good, devs could put it in the game, why not.. So if you are really fun of such realistic stuff and wanna see it in V - you could try to work on it in your test-variant and then to propose this changes to V. Cause just changing weights in V gamedata is pretty simple.. but it will break actual gamebalance, and will require loads of rework in game design.

Sky May 12, 2020 16:05

ugh... i really didnt want to do this, but it looks like we have to.

A halaberd does not weight much more than a greatsword, or a flail. A pike probably weights even less. But, they are much slower, due to the size, and the distribution of the weight away from the fulcrum. It just happens that most longer weapons are heavier, but two same-weight weapons of different sizes will handle differently, based on the dynamics of the moving mass.

So you can have a weapon that swings slower, hits harder, due to this change in mass balance, that however weights on the scale as much as a nimbler weapon that had the most mass on the fulcrum.

so a Maul (20lb) doesn't actually weight 20lb, but due to having most of the mass at the end of a long stick, and having to swing said mass in a long arch, it attacks less often and hits harder.

BUT, as we said, the weapon weights are not meant to be factual - they are purely a game mechanic to implement "if stronger, more blows" in the game. It could be ANY value, but of all the imaginary values, weight is the one that makes more sense for "only stronger characters will benefit from using this 40lb huge Mace Of Disruption".

wobbly May 12, 2020 16:38

I'm waiting on the same explanation for swords which are balanced for fighting & sabres which can be handled from horseback as well as dueling. But mostly I think the current system works about as terribly as a game mechanic as it is unrealistic.

Estie May 13, 2020 15:43

Quote:

Originally Posted by wobbly (Post 145408)
I'm waiting on the same explanation for swords which are balanced for fighting & sabres which can be handled from horseback as well as dueling. But mostly I think the current system works about as terribly as a game mechanic as it is unrealistic.

The outstanding feature of the vanilla combat system is that you want a dagger early and a MoD for lategame. Unlike DnD/nethack, its complex enough to accommodate such a shift.

What exactly makes it terrible in your opinion, and what would a system have to look like for you to like it ?

Hounded May 13, 2020 18:46

I don't mind the weights. As stated it's not meant to relate to the world. We could just as easily say "Quatloos" instead of "Pounds".

What I think might be worth investigating would be to shift to a system based upon Encumbrance. The units don't really matter but with the underlying concept that excessive higher-encumbrance equipment may take up more inventory slots or impede dexterity / to-hit values.

The following are effectively random numbers from the air but...
1 Inventory slot allows 40 enc
- Staff = 20 enc (maximum two stave per inventory spot)
- Rod = 10 enc (maximum 4 rods per inventory spot)
- Wand = 5 enc (maximum 8 wands per inventory spot)
- Potion/Scroll = 1 encumbrance (status quo)

... cause really, I like to get a gatling Rod-of-Firebolt setup going but it can lead to absurdity (especially when you auto-pickup another staff of Magic Mapping when your last one finally had only 2 charges left).

Equipped items could be similarly evaluated so that yes, you can wield the ginormous weapon but at a certain enc threshold perhaps it overflows to your ranged weapon spot (two hands required to wield) or limits your shield (only a buckler or "small" shield allowed). Suddenly you have to make a real choice as to whether you're following a tanky or agile strategy.

Lots of problems with the above I'm certain. Just throwing out some thoughts with no regard whatsoever to the difficulty of implementation.

wobbly May 13, 2020 19:03

Quote:

Originally Posted by Estie (Post 145431)
The outstanding feature of the vanilla combat system is that you want a dagger early and a MoD for lategame. Unlike DnD/nethack, its complex enough to accommodate such a shift.

What exactly makes it terrible in your opinion, and what would a system have to look like for you to like it ?

So at the start the dagger is good & everything else you find is weak & often by a fair bit, at least for a warrior. There are exceptions of course if you find an artifact, but mostly weapons that in theory should be reasonable, tend to be terrible. Then there's the issue that every weapon plays & feels the same. They are just damage numbers on a stat stick. I don't find it leads to interesting choices.

For examples of better combat systems, look at Sil or O-combat or DCSS. All of these have a tighter balance, more feel to the various weapons & more often an interesting choice.

Now when I say it's terrible, in some way its ok, it works, you can play the game, it's fun. However for me its fun despite the combat system, rather then because of it.

sffp May 13, 2020 22:16

Yeah

I was thinking something about the combat system and it weighs heavily towards lightweights.

Not only do you get ridiculous damage from 2+ to 3 to 4 attacks per round.

Oftentimes, you only need one or two of those hits to kill - while with a heavier weapon, you only get one shot so it skews the to-hit and the to-damage.

My (+7, +6) dagger right now averages 60 points a round. No need to bother with heavier ego items - this outshines them all (Until I completely buff up my stats- but that happens later)

sffp May 13, 2020 22:54

and a slightly unrelated q

I used to remember when I had fractional attacks around - say 2.6. I would get 2 rounds with 3 attacks and 1 round with 2 - is that not the case any more? Was that ever the case?

Nick May 13, 2020 23:18

Quote:

Originally Posted by sffp (Post 145442)
I used to remember when I had fractional attacks around - say 2.6. I would get 2 rounds with 3 attacks and 1 round with 2 - is that not the case any more? Was that ever the case?

That is still the case - your current character has 3.8, which should be usually four, but occasionally three.

sffp May 14, 2020 01:38

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nick (Post 145443)
That is still the case - your current character has 3.8, which should be usually four, but occasionally three.

Is it possible for that functionality to break - if for example you go up to 4 and then down to below 4?(potion of Brawn swiped from Dex) Because my character is doing 3 a round regularly even with the 3.8

sffp May 14, 2020 02:45

I picked up an example of what I was thinking about.
I just picked up a Lance of *Slay Troll* (+4,+3) <+2> to strength
I have an 18/86 strength, 18/20 Dex wielding it
I get 1.3 blows a round for ~57 damage against trolls

My Dagger (+6,+6) gives me ~66 against everything (including said trolls I presume)

That just seems silly

Nick May 14, 2020 03:16

Quote:

Originally Posted by sffp (Post 145444)
Is it possible for that functionality to break - if for example you go up to 4 and then down to below 4?(potion of Brawn swiped from Dex) Because my character is doing 3 a round regularly even with the 3.8

Sorry, I was incorrect. The thing that happens with your 3.8 blows is that you get 3, but instead of using 100 energy that turn, you use (100 / 3.8) * 3, so your next turn comes around a bit quicker. This corresponds to the way extra shots works for missile weapons.

sffp May 14, 2020 14:21

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nick (Post 145446)
Sorry, I was incorrect. The thing that happens with your 3.8 blows is that you get 3, but instead of using 100 energy that turn, you use (100 / 3.8) * 3, so your next turn comes around a bit quicker. This corresponds to the way extra shots works for missile weapons.

Ah so that's really interesting. I've never understood that mechanism (I've always wondered "where are my extra shots" when I've had one of those bows.
So does that result in double-turns for me? Or - how does that interoperate with the speed system.

archolewa May 14, 2020 16:27

Quote:

Originally Posted by wobbly (Post 145433)
So at the start the dagger is good & everything else you find is weak & often by a fair bit, at least for a warrior. There are exceptions of course if you find an artifact, but mostly weapons that in theory should be reasonable, tend to be terrible. Then there's the issue that every weapon plays & feels the same. They are just damage numbers on a stat stick. I don't find it leads to interesting choices.

I see where you're coming from on this, but personally I don't think the interesting choice has to boil down to what "type" of weapon, but rather "what impact does this weapon have on the rest of my character?" Is an extra blow worth losing chaos resistance? Is chaos resistance worth being slightly encumbered, or having to leave some of my staves at home to stay unencumbered? On the other hand, the heavier weapon also gives me an extra pip of Nether resistance, so now I can swap out Hjolmir finally for the Armor of the Rohirrim...

This is in my opinion where Angband's equipment game gets interesting. I don't care what kind of weapon it is, I care about my resistances, damage, and other intrinsics.

Besides, I've played some DCSS (got two runes before getting bored), and I rarely found the weapon choice to make that much of a difference beyond forcing me to change what I was training. Sure, axes let you hit every enemy... but you're gonna lure them to a corridor one at a time anyway because it's very easy to get overwhelmed and that game doesn't have particularly good panic buttons. Riposte is nice for some extra damage, but again you're still gonna lure them into a corridor. Maces just hit hard. Spears are interesting, because there are a few spells and what-not in DCSS you can use to maximize a spear's reach. But in that case, it's lure into a corridor, and throw down flame cloud, or try to manipulate the game into to putting an orc between you and the troll, so you can skewer the troll while the orc wails ineffectually at you.

So the only impact I really found DCSS' weapons had was on what skills I trained and spells I learned. *How* I fought, or what I fought never really changed. We have the same thing already in Angband: choosing between two different weapons can have very interesting ripple effects across the rest of your character's build out, even if it doesn't impact how you fight once the fight starts. It does impact which enemies are worth fighting though, so I find the game plays differently even if the combat doesn't.

I'm not opposed to weapons having different mechanics (I *do* really enjoy the extra reach granted by spears in DCSS). I'm just skeptical it will actually really change anything, either in combat tactics or weapon choice. Maybe if the weapon effects were absolutely massive (the Spear of Orome lets you turn your melee attack into a beam!), or you had a way of trying to transfer stats between weapons (but ye gods this would have to either be nerfed into uselessness or be broken beyond all compare). Otherwise, I expect the stats on the sticks to remain the dominate consideration, and the extra weapon qualities will just be gravy.

sffp May 14, 2020 22:42

I understand that the weapon type doesn't matter to the game play.
But theirs a value system in stores for things like Slay troll/orc/dragon etc
Levels get feelings based off the presence of the ego weapons. But when a Dagger (+2,+6) does more damage than a Great Maul of *Slay Dragon* (+11, +14) against dragons - that's where you start to question the system. (Note - in college, when I played Angband, I don't recall inspecting weapons to show damage. )

I know which one will be more expensive at the store....

Nick May 14, 2020 22:59

Quote:

Originally Posted by sffp (Post 145470)
I understand that the weapon type doesn't matter to the game play.
But theirs a value system in stores for things like Slay troll/orc/dragon etc
Levels get feelings based off the presence of the ego weapons. But when a Dagger (+2,+6) does more damage than a Great Maul of *Slay Dragon* (+11, +14) against dragons - that's where you start to question the system. (Note - in college, when I played Angband, I don't recall inspecting weapons to show damage. )

The percentage damage birth option is intended to do more or less what you're looking for. It's pretty broken in 4.2.0, but in the development version (which should become 4.2.1 fairly soon) it's at least close to balanced.


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