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Nick December 27, 2017 07:48

Class/magic feature branch
 
One of the planned areas of work for 4.2 is player classes, races and magic, and I have made a start on a feature branch for classes.

The basic ideas have been explored in this thread, with my views best expressed by the starting post and this example of a possible set of mage spells. I have done mostly preparatory work so far, to enable classes to be constructed using books from multiple magic realms, and to make the entirety of class definition happen in the data files. The one gameplay change so far is to redo shops a bit, so the temple has been replaced by a bookseller who sells all the town books and nothing else. Next up is to add new magic realms and classes to use them.

So, there are builds of this for Windows and macOS, and you can get source code as a zip file or by looking at the branch on Github. As I say, there's not a lot to see now except for the shop changes, but if anyone wants to look at it, think about classes, play to check it doesn't crash etc I'd be interested in feedback.

Gwarl December 27, 2017 11:58

Please reconsider status effects and how they fit in the spell lists.

(Also, hooray new shops! Can we get a mushroom vendor? :)

debo December 27, 2017 14:22

Real talk: will there be a magic rocket spell?

Sky December 27, 2017 22:32

generally speaking, i would like to see spells which do more crowd control / situational spells, rather than "more of this, less of that". Such as Invisibility, Darkness, spells which affect monster's perception, temporary ESP, charm, resistances/immunities, debuffs that work, that kind of stuff.

Nick December 28, 2017 11:52

There is now a page with the builds from this branch, more recent at the top.

The latest builds have a new mage class to try out (after all the other classes on the birth screen), with only 5 books. Note that for now all the old classes are still there, and beware that there are two sets of red books, with the two mage classes only able to read their own.

Tibarius December 28, 2017 15:05

books vs scrolls
 
I like the direction the game develops currently into very much. Your ideas sound pretty coherent to me Nick Holy<->Necromancy and Nature<->Arcane.

From a game perspective the most drawback from my point of view is: you only have 5 finds, that realy matter as pure spellcaster class. Books #5 to #9. It would add much more fun and diversity if the spellcaster classes would be boosted in spells by finding scrolls / runes / other items which hold one spell each and can be learned and inscribed into spell-books.

So the town would sell empty spell books and a very few set of starting spells.
That way each caster would be / have a unique set of spells in the end.

Tibarius December 28, 2017 15:29

new mage class
 
I will give a try and test the new mage class some times.
First book detections has no combat spell anymore. So the mage should start as hand-to-hand fighter until he can buy the first attack spell book (400 gold).

Correct?

Tibarius December 28, 2017 16:28

urgs
 
Nick, the new mage class is horrible to start with and surely no fun. So what is the point of play testing it?

The new book #1 has no attack spell anymore. So if i turn usefull gear off i can buy book #2 just to see that magic missile is lvl 8!!! I tried several times now ... starting money is not enough to get a decent weapon. Hand to hand combat is horrible as mage and if want to use a bow i play ranger and not mage.

debo December 28, 2017 18:04

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tibarius (Post 127158)
Nick, the new mage class is horrible to start with and surely no fun. So what is the point of play testing it?

The new book #1 has no attack spell anymore. So if i turn usefull gear off i can buy book #2 just to see that magic missile is lvl 8!!! I tried several times now ... starting money is not enough to get a decent weapon. Hand to hand combat is horrible as mage and if want to use a bow i play ranger and not mage.

That town book 2 looks a lot like a zangband Armageddon spellbook :)

Derakon December 28, 2017 18:07

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tibarius (Post 127158)
Nick, the new mage class is horrible to start with and surely no fun. So what is the point of play testing it?

The new book #1 has no attack spell anymore. So if i turn usefull gear off i can buy book #2 just to see that magic missile is lvl 8!!! I tried several times now ... starting money is not enough to get a decent weapon. Hand to hand combat is horrible as mage and if want to use a bow i play ranger and not mage.

Buy a Wand of Magic Missile and some flasks of oil, maybe? I doubt that those alone would be enough to get you to level 8 though, not unless you were exceedingly careful in what you fought. They'd get you enough levels to be able to survive fighting weaker enemies...not that I particularly relish the idea of grinding for levels in order to get access to a basic attack.

Sky December 28, 2017 20:43

go Half troll and grind some blue worm masses :p

Nick December 28, 2017 23:10

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tibarius (Post 127158)
Nick, the new mage class is horrible to start with and surely no fun. So what is the point of play testing it?

The new book #1 has no attack spell anymore. So if i turn usefull gear off i can buy book #2 just to see that magic missile is lvl 8!!! I tried several times now ... starting money is not enough to get a decent weapon. Hand to hand combat is horrible as mage and if want to use a bow i play ranger and not mage.

The first book has no attack spells, but it has really good detection and escape spells. So you need to play to that strength. Early game for these mages will involve a lot of sneaking around, running away and sniping selected targets.

I have a CL10 character now (second attempt - first died to a mouse). I started by buying a wand of Magic Missile and headed down. Taking stairs whenever I found them, I was able to kill anything I came across, including Fang. By the time I was running out of charges (helped by finding -StinkingCloud) I had learned Recharging. My biggest problem was actually getting enough money for the second book, and for ?Recall.

This class will certainly need balancing, but it is playable, and I thought fun - in particular I enjoyed the sense of danger in the early game.

Estie December 28, 2017 23:26

Havent played test game yet - a few thoughts:

Necromancy is difficult: common tropes are undead summons, life leech, dot as opposed to direct damage spells, debuffs (disease, poison). ToME2 has the weird temporary melee weapons (which I never use and which are pretty pointless, imo). I dont recall many of the Zang schools - but it seems to me that Zang magic would be closest to what is planned ? More schools, each with few, but relevant spells, less overlap.

Nature magic can be many things, some already existing spells fit, others can be devised. Miruvor (sp?), the elven drink the company used to survive the Caradhras desaster, comes to mind. Gameplay wise, that could be a speed potion or potion of life or some other fitting drink that already exists.

More generally, what I would like is a bit of variance in the spells from game to game - similar to the ToME2 thaumaturgist. With spellcasters in vanilla, you always know exactly which spells you get when and what they do; the only difference from game to game is when you find your books, and recently the game has been trimmed towards finding the relevant book before the spells inside are useable - which is great, you dont want to play a spellcaster without spells.

For example, the heal300 spell could have a fixed, but randomly rolled value each game, from 200 to 400 or so; enough to make a difference when the roll is extreme, not enough to break the classes relying on it.
Some offensive spells are invariably going to be better than others, but if a relatively bad spell gets a good roll, it might still be used in some games, making playing that spellcaster a different experience from last time.

I am a little doubtful about the Zangification of magic, if that it is. While there is a lot of overlap in the 2 current schools, it is mostly stuff that everyone casts one way or another - if warrior, by device. So removing, say, magic map from the green books would do nothing to distinguish a class - it would just mean that priests now carry staves with the spell effect instead.

Is the plan to introduce many completely new spells ? How different will they be, on a scale from 1 to tome2 ?

Sky December 29, 2017 00:04

i died about 20 times, but eventually made it to CL10, and now have many offensive spells .. i see the mana values have been adjusted.
but, i looked into the other 3 books, and essentially it's the same stuff that a regular mage has.

Huqhox December 29, 2017 09:18

It needs a bit of tweaking but it is quite fun as Nick says (although playing as a half troll tank does take the sting out of the early game)

What would be useful would be an early 'invisibility' type spell or just handy stealth buff so you could sneak about more. All the early detection is a big help. Once the offensive spells arrive with book 2 it is certainly a lot more fun.

Presumably the idea is to end up with offensive spells that deal a lot more damage/mana than the existing set (MM aside) by the end game?

Zikke December 29, 2017 09:38

This may be asking too much of the game engine, but it would be neat to have an illusion "school" (like in D&D) that would let @ summon distractions to have monsters chase something for a few turns, or to have monsters roll a chance to target the copy for each attack roll.

This is how I played my sorcerer in D&D and found it very exciting trying to figure out encounters without just picking "do I pick blast spell #1 or blast spell #2?"

edit: Or to conjure an illusion that a creature's hands are on fire and it might drop it's weapon, or that the player turns invisible for a few turns. Such possibilities!

Tibarius December 29, 2017 11:32

playing style of mages
 
A development i see critical is that mages should / must rely on wands and staves. I agree that this is not bad for game diversity - but it is horrible for the player in front of the screen. I use keymaps for all spells from books that is something you cannot realy define for wands and staves. So i hope that playing mage is still possible without wands / staves in the future.

+1 for Estie's post

@Nick: an average wand of magic missle (which is affordable at game start) has around 12 charges. How is that enough to reach lvl 5 with recharge even???

And why reduce the number of books? That is the wrong way in my eyes of what is required to make mages more different from game to game?

And i don't like mana cost icnrease at all .... mages suck already, because they are almost always out of mana. Increasing costs only increases resting time.

I think the correct way to "improve" mages is to define first what the new playing style should look like.

Here is what i (as major mage player) think would do good for mages:
+ int should be the most important stat for mages - currently int only influences the amount of mana when fully rested
+ spell findings must be splitted into smaller packages than books, currently a mage just needs 3 drops and basic equipment: raals, escapes and grimoire of power (so only 5 books is the wrong way in my eyes)
+ resting time for mages should be reduced - so i propose to make intelligence boost regeneration and keep the mana pool dependant on the character level
+ int should allow a mana pool size similar to con and then introduce the mana shield spell which uses mana as protection pool like HPs do for normal non-magical chars
+ if mages should start without an attack spell, they need invisibility or sneak boost or something like burning hands which damages on hand-to-hand combat

I agree with sky - the best way to improve the class is to define as exactly as possible what the goal is. Currently i wonder what exactly play testing the new mage class should reveal to you (us)?

Tibarius December 29, 2017 12:34

play testing
 
facts:
i play gnome mage, str 2 int 12 con 6 point distributed
selling on, starting kit on

starting position is book#1, word of recal, around 350 gold

failed strategies:
(1) buy light close combat weapon with +1-3 to damage => i miss way too often
(2) buy short bow and arrows => this is still the most effective way in my eyes, yet i don't want to play a ranger but a mage !
(3) sneak around avoiding combat for some while collecting enough gold to buy a kill with one hit weapon, too dangerous beyond level 1 with fast monsters like ravens / crows
(4) buy wand of magic missile => always out of charges before recharge spell is available at all

I don't like the new mage class setup because i can not understand what the goal of the changes are.

You have 2-3 mana but that is useless because detection is only casted once.
Detect treasure comes way too early in my eyes - thats the rogue special (no?).

I stop play testing and get back to the old version which was at least playable as mage.

Sky December 29, 2017 14:03

I bought 30 vials of oil ....

wobbly December 29, 2017 14:04

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tibarius (Post 127170)
A development i see critical is that mages should / must rely on wands and staves. I agree that this is not bad for game diversity - but it is horrible for the player in front of the screen. I use keymaps for all spells from books that is something you cannot realy define for wands and staves. So i hope that playing mage is still possible without wands / staves in the future.

You can still keymap wands & staves if you inscribe them 1st. e.g. @a1 etc.

Derakon December 29, 2017 15:44

I like the idea of encouraging mages to rely on devices, but I suspect that most players that go with mages want to be able to do basically everything with spells alone and not have to worry about consumables. I don't have any good ideas for ways to convince such players that they need to broaden their approach, especially since devices are not usually thought of as a primary damage dealer (either in Angband or in any other game in the genre).

debo December 29, 2017 16:17

Quote:

Originally Posted by Derakon (Post 127175)
I like the idea ...especially since devices are not usually thought of as a primary damage dealer (either in Angband or in any other game in the genre).

Poscheng magic-eaters and devicemasters beg to differ :)

Tibarius December 29, 2017 16:28

consumeables
 
Mages actually can't take on M without consumeables. I personally feel that uncool, but somehow bearable. I think what realy is required to have the spell books separated into single spell scrolls so that not every mage is the same.

Sky December 29, 2017 18:24

Because a rod of drain life does 150 damage flat. And a wand of annihilation with 3 charges max does less than 400 in the hands of the best caster. When ANY schmuk with a decent ranged does 150+ for each arrow. Not even gonna mention rangers or hobbits with Buckland. Warriors will do AT LEAST 300 per hit if not double. There is just no comparison.

Tibarius December 29, 2017 18:33

class comparison
 
It is no requirement that classes can be compared to each other considering playability and damage output.

But i think each class should be fun to play if you like the theme of the class. Mages are spell casters - i have no clue why the first attack spell should show up at level 8.

Derakon December 29, 2017 18:57

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tibarius (Post 127181)
But i think each class should be fun to play if you like the theme of the class. Mages are spell casters - i have no clue why the first attack spell should show up at level 8.

And this is where the main disagreement is about how mages "ought" to play. The funny thing is that Angband mages have never been best-off relying solely on spells. Their attack magic was lackluster for the first decade or so of the game's existence, being overpriced and underpowered. And while that's been fixed, magic devices are still entirely competitive with direct spellcasting.

I personally like that mages are not a class where you can get away with ignoring everything that isn't in a spellbook (to hyperbolize a bit). That is, while they are spellcasters, that is not the sole defining trait of the class or the way they solve every problem they encounter.

That said, it does sound like they need a more clear path to getting up off the ground than they have in this first pass at reworking magic. I don't really see how a newbie could be expected to play a mage with any amount of success; are we explicitly relegating the class to be for experts only?

Philip December 29, 2017 21:00

Mages have indeed consistently been the class with the most control. Buffs (including Haste and Resistance, and GoI once upon a time), great detection (though Priests were better late game, awkwardly enough), excellent teleportation, door creation, destruction, banishment, recharage and all perfectly reliable (0% fail, except for recharge). Their damage output has been and should be unimpressive. Why should they be competitive with a warrior or even a ranger, with that level of control.

One thing that seems like it would be a good idea would be to put a wand of magic missile into the starting inventory for people who start with a kit. Maybe a scroll of recharging too, to give people an idea of how the mechanics works? Sort of teach people the new way to play mages.

It is my opinion that if Mages were ever able to ignore devices as a way to do damage (and they were), then that was a problem. Fortunately, if your idea of spellcasting involves exploding things, then Necromancers ought to satisfy that nicely (I hope), with them using devices for the support stuff Mages really excel at.

Also, while I don't want mages to be exclusively for experts, I do believe playing them should require awareness and control as a style of play. Perhaps the help files should emphasize the importance of choosing your battles to avoid wasting charges of magic missile early, through the use of say, stealth. I also think the idea of an early buff to boost stealth is a good idea, though the way stealth and mana costs and regen work now, it could end up being either too powerful (letting you pretend to be a Rogue with 0% fail) or useless (oh good, burn a turn to get +1 stealth for a little while, that may even pay for itself in the amount of time it would cost). Perhaps some new way of avoiding monsters (or an old one - teleportation or sleep monster or such)?

Nick December 29, 2017 22:38

Thanks for all the discussion, it's very helpful. I should say first up - for now, I'll leave Magic Missile in the second book but make it level 3 and 1 mana and back to its previous (lower) damage.

There has been some talk previously about what the principles behind the class changes are, but I probably haven't made them very clear, so I'll do that.

As suggested in the original post linked in the first post of this thread, I'm looking at two pairs of opposing realms of magic - Nature-Arcane, and Holy-Death. You can think of it a bit like this
Code:

          Holy         
          |           
Arcane------------Nature
          |           
        Death

with Wisdom meaning the ability to harmonise with the creation order and Intelligence the ability to create something distinct
Code:

\ WIS
 \
  \
  \
INT \

Now details:

Nature magic draws on the things in Middle Earth as it was created - animals, plants, weather, geology. It will have spells to directly affect monsters (and @), to modify the environment, and to use the elements of poison, gravity, ice, water, plasma, sound and meteors. Its pure spellcasting class is the Druid (not entirely happy with the name, but haven't found a better one) who will be fairly average in most skills but bad with devices.

Arcane magic I tend to think of as technology. It will have spells of detection, teleportation, dungeon modification, and mental control over objects, and will use the elements of acid, fire, electricity and cold, or directly use mana to wound or create explosive effects. Its pure spellcasting class is the Mage, who will be an exceptional device user but poor at fighting.

Holy magic uses the power of the Valar, the beings entrusted with the care of Middle Earth. It will have spells to empower the spirit of the player, to daunt and dispel evil, to bring revealing light and to create effects of holy power. Its pure spellcasting class is the Priest, who will be fairly poor at most skills but have an excellent saving throw.

Death magic uses necromancy, the ability to directly control the souls of intelligent beings and (to a lesser extent) creatures. It will have spells to sense and drain the spirits of living monsters, directly affect evil beings and damage the spellcasting ability of monsters, and will use the elements of darkness, nether, chaos and disenchantment. Its pure spellcasting class is the Necromancer, who will be fairly unskillful across the board.

This gives an idea of the realms, and the pure spellcasters, but other classes can then be chosen which combine aspects of one of these realms with others and/or with combat ability. Examples here include Rangers (Archery and Nature magic) and Rogues (Stealthy combat and Arcane and/or Death magic).

Overall the intent is to make magic use coherent and to make it feel like you are using the magic of a given realm, rather than just a grab-bag of utility spells. This will mean that pure spellcasters can no longer expect to get magic for everything they do; instead, they get a more focused set of spells in fewer books and will have to carry some other items.

Naturally, some people will not welcome this change. It is, however, not too hard to revert by changing edit files; in fact, I'm considering including a data file with the old classes to make that easy.

Derakon December 29, 2017 23:56

Thanks for this high-level overview, Nick. Thematically these sound plausible to me; the real question is how they'll shake out mechanically. In particular, there's some question as to how easy each class will be to play. Like, if you asked me to rank the overall difficulty of the game, from start to finish, for each class, I guess it'd look something like this (lower is easier):

Warrior: 1.0
Mage: 1.2
Priest: 1.0
Paladin: 0.8
Ranger: N/A, I never play them
Rogue: 0.9

I'm not looking to start a discussion about a "tier list" for the classes, just saying this is about what I feel the spread is. Note that both pure casters are at least as hard as the warrior, due to their poor HP and physical stats and unusually difficult early-, and for mages, mid-game. This is despite the caster classes having a very broad selection of spells. If we both expect to keep a similar spread of relative difficulties (do we?), while also giving the casters more limited and individualized spell lists, then we'll need to compensate in other ways. For example, we can give the casters better non-casting-related skills, or we can make life harder for the non-caster classes in ways that don't impact casters as strongly.

Put another way, every class needs to have the tools to traverse the game and be able to kill Sauron and Morgoth. I recommend deciding what those tools are for each class at a high level, and then building the spell list with reference to those tools and the class theme. You've started on this, by listing the elements that each realm depends on. I guess I'm looking for the answers to these questions:

* What should a young character be doing to get experience and make it to the mid-game?
* What should a mid-game character be doing to get to the late game?
* How do they kill Sauron and Morgoth?

Estie December 30, 2017 00:10

I have played a bit with the new mage.

http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=21356

This is the 4th start who made it down to the bottom.

1st start was a gnome new mage, 8 str 12 int, with starting gear. The first time I bought a wand of mm, made it to clvl 5 and realized I had forgotten to set randarts; restart. One wand is plenty to get to recharge level, but you cant waste charges on low level stuff - instead, using the first spell in the book, find down staircases and go down a few levels. A good first kill is one of the unique dogs; gnome gets to level 3 from that.

2nd start had no wand in the shop; I bought a longsword instead and slowly advanced to level 2 by killing easy stuff on level 1. Much retreating and abandoning of fights. I died at around clvl 10, from lack of SI.

3rd start had neither a wand nor any decent weapon; only daggers and a spear 1d6 at the blacksmith, I restarted. I missed the second weapon store there.

4th is the above dump, who got a wand and used the fast approach. Once the offensive spells kick in, the play is very similar to the old mage.

Overall, the start is very similar to priest - a rough life as bad fighter before midgame offensive spell glory. Priest has the bless spell to help though and is easier to get to said midgame.

I can see how making 4 casters all with utility coverd by spells isnt going to work, but I also see a danger of replacing the 2 old casters with a bunch of new hybrids. What is the difference between the pure caster and their hybrid going to be, for 4 schools ? (I know we dont have to make the pattern fit and create 1 hybrid for each branch.)

Anyway, I am very curious what you have planned for the other schools, most importantly for necromancy.

luneya December 30, 2017 00:47

Having a character which gets nothing but detections and stuff early might be interesting, but that's not the proper thematic role for a mage. The mage class should have magic missile as the first spell, and then focus primarily on damage spells for the rest of the game (perhaps even to the extreme of having no better detection than a warrior). A class that amounts to "rogue but without the melee" would be better denoted as "illusionist" or something.

Sky December 30, 2017 01:00

i have a different take. i know, that this is only a rough draft, but what is this character supposed to DO ?
the early detect in place of attack is .. weird, but nothing too harsh. well, kinda, but let's call it an advanced class.
but, all that just to get to where you use the same spells that a mage has? because the mage is balanced, you get the spells you need at the level you need them.
this other class has spells you don't need at the start (debatable), spells you do need later on, and then it just becomes a normal mage .. minus a spell or two.

lets look at the classes.

1. warrior: you bonk people on the head.
2. paladin: you also bonk people on the head, and heal.
3. priest: every defensive spell in existence.
4. rogue: multirole with evasion.
5. ranger: melee damage from range, but dependant on arrow supply.
6. mage: limitless weak ranged, and banishment.
7. new mage: ??

Nick December 30, 2017 02:13

OK, this whole magic revamp thing is going to involve some fairly big changes, so there will need to be some robust discussion. Please don't take my responses personally :)

Quote:

Originally Posted by Estie (Post 127186)
I can see how making 4 casters all with utility coverd by spells isnt going to work, but I also see a danger of replacing the 2 old casters with a bunch of new hybrids. What is the difference between the pure caster and their hybrid going to be, for 4 schools ?

Short answer is that hybrids will be getting less books and spells, for the most part. I'm also not looking at a "one hybrid per school" model, but rather at picking interesting/thematic classes and the deciding what sort of magic they should get. Also note that hybrids can get different books, not just a subset of the pure caster books; and that there's potential for cross-realm hybrids and more than one non-magical class (if that's what seems to fit the class theme).

Necromancy will need lots of work; in particular I'm looking at possibilities of possession and player shapechange (monster shapechanges will be coming in the monster list revamp). The stuff about spirits and bodies in my original post in the earlier thread is a guide to how I'm thinking about this.

Quote:

Originally Posted by luneya (Post 127187)
Having a character which gets nothing but detections and stuff early might be interesting, but that's not the proper thematic role for a mage. The mage class should have magic missile as the first spell, and then focus primarily on damage spells for the rest of the game (perhaps even to the extreme of having no better detection than a warrior).

I would actually argue that the defining quality of current mages is their degree of control before and after dealing damage, which goes hand-in-hand with their fragility. So ability to detect, teleport and banish in order to choose battles, and ability to get out when necessary. That said, the new class has two of its five books devoted to attacking, and haven't really lost too many useful attack spells (stinking cloud and rift are the obvious ones).

There seem to be quite a few definite ideas about a what a mage should be - I don't know if this is coming from (current or previous) Angband, from D&D (or similar), or from elsewhere. In any case, I think we should be guided rather than bound by any prior influences.

Note that I'm not even trying to put the "elves should be wise, dwarves intelligent" argument - yet :)

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sky (Post 127188)
i have a different take. i know, that this is only a rough draft, but what is this character supposed to DO ?
the early detect in place of attack is .. weird, but nothing too harsh. well, kinda, but let's call it an advanced class.
but, all that just to get to where you use the same spells that a mage has? because the mage is balanced, you get the spells you need at the level you need them.
this other class has spells you don't need at the start (debatable), spells you do need later on, and then it just becomes a normal mage .. minus a spell or two.

lets look at the classes.

1. warrior: you bonk people on the head.
2. paladin: you also bonk people on the head, and heal.
3. priest: every defensive spell in existence.
4. rogue: multirole with evasion.
5. ranger: melee damage from range, but dependant on arrow supply.
6. mage: limitless weak ranged, and banishment.
7. new mage: ??

If you carefully read my previous post, I think you'll find I answered all your questions multiple times ;)

Tibarius December 30, 2017 12:49

ideas
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Philip (Post 127183)
Mages have indeed consistently been the class with the most control. Buffs (including Haste and Resistance, and GoI once upon a time), great detection (though Priests were better late game, awkwardly enough), excellent teleportation, door creation, destruction, banishment, recharage and all perfectly reliable (0% fail, except for recharge). Their damage output has been and should be unimpressive. Why should they be competitive with a warrior or even a ranger, with that level of control.

One thing that seems like it would be a good idea would be to put a wand of magic missile into the starting inventory for people who start with a kit. Maybe a scroll of recharging too, to give people an idea of how the mechanics works? Sort of teach people the new way to play mages.

It is my opinion that if Mages were ever able to ignore devices as a way to do damage (and they were), then that was a problem. Fortunately, if your idea of spellcasting involves exploding things, then Necromancers ought to satisfy that nicely (I hope), with them using devices for the support stuff Mages really excel at.

Also, while I don't want mages to be exclusively for experts, I do believe playing them should require awareness and control as a style of play. Perhaps the help files should emphasize the importance of choosing your battles to avoid wasting charges of magic missile early, through the use of say, stealth. I also think the idea of an early buff to boost stealth is a good idea, though the way stealth and mana costs and regen work now, it could end up being either too powerful (letting you pretend to be a Rogue with 0% fail) or useless (oh good, burn a turn to get +1 stealth for a little while, that may even pay for itself in the amount of time it would cost). Perhaps some new way of avoiding monsters (or an old one - teleportation or sleep monster or such)?

I like that idea. A wand of magic missile as starting kit and a scroll of recharge, but then also recharge scrolls should be available in town as "basic stock". That would be a way that is possible.

But priority in my eyes should have first to split spell acquirement into single spells. After that it is much easier to adjust single spells or the learning rate. As long as you can only modify the set of spells in a few books it is much harder to revamp a class or fine tune spell power / costs etc.

A last thing: a games purpose is to entertain the players. Please keep all in mind that if a class is no fun to play the player will stop playing it. Different people find different playing styles fun. A good class allows a wide variety of people to have fun with it.

Tibarius December 30, 2017 13:07

Quote:

Originally Posted by Derakon (Post 127185)
Thanks for this high-level overview, Nick. Thematically these sound plausible to me; the real question is how they'll shake out mechanically. In particular, there's some question as to how easy each class will be to play. Like, if you asked me to rank the overall difficulty of the game, from start to finish, for each class, I guess it'd look something like this (lower is easier):

Warrior: 1.0
Mage: 1.2
Priest: 1.0
Paladin: 0.8
Ranger: N/A, I never play them
Rogue: 0.9

I'm not looking to start a discussion about a "tier list" for the classes, just saying this is about what I feel the spread is. Note that both pure casters are at least as hard as the warrior, due to their poor HP and physical stats and unusually difficult early-, and for mages, mid-game. This is despite the caster classes having a very broad selection of spells. If we both expect to keep a similar spread of relative difficulties (do we?), while also giving the casters more limited and individualized spell lists, then we'll need to compensate in other ways. For example, we can give the casters better non-casting-related skills, or we can make life harder for the non-caster classes in ways that don't impact casters as strongly.

Put another way, every class needs to have the tools to traverse the game and be able to kill Sauron and Morgoth. I recommend deciding what those tools are for each class at a high level, and then building the spell list with reference to those tools and the class theme. You've started on this, by listing the elements that each realm depends on. I guess I'm looking for the answers to these questions:

* What should a young character be doing to get experience and make it to the mid-game?
* What should a mid-game character be doing to get to the late game?
* How do they kill Sauron and Morgoth?

I don't understand the number sections (i miss the min max values here) but i do FULLY AGREE to your three questions!

And here are my answers for the mage class:
1. Sneak around, carefully choosing combat because of weak HPs and limited mana
2. mid game mages collect resistances because they still should avoid hand-to-hand combat and thus require no high armor class but basically just speed and resistances and get int/con to a decent level (not necessarily 18/200)
3. end game morgoth should be phase door, mana storm (or similar) attack spell - the current way Morgoth acts is in my eyes no good way in terms of game mechanics, but currently i have no good idea except that Morgoth could loose / reduce summons and have some kind of ranged attack instead

Tibarius December 30, 2017 13:20

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nick (Post 127189)
If you carefully read my previous post, I think you'll find I answered all your questions multiple times ;)

I did but i agree to Sky that whatever you wanted to communicate was not received completely by me at last. So instead to point out the weakness in communication it is better to make sure we understand your point(s)!

I think the stairs / traps / doors detection should be an early level spell, but not the level 1 spell for mages. I see either magic missile (or any other attack) spell as the first spell or kit=wand of magic missile, then recharge should be the level 1 spell (and it would require a higher success rate).

Hmm recharge at level 1 is maybe a problem because of mana cost, level 1 spells basically may only cost 1 mana.

Edit: From a game mechanics point of view it is better to have spells of the same game-stage in the same book. So the current setup with book #1 = beginner spells is in my eyes preferable over the setup to split spells over more then one book if they are intended for the same character evolution state.

Tibarius December 30, 2017 14:07

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nick (Post 127184)
]with Wisdom meaning the ability to harmonise with the creation order and Intelligence the ability to create something distinct
Code:

\ WIS
 \
  \
  \
INT \


What does that mean with wis and int in game terms? I have not the slightess clue what that means in game terms.

Tibarius December 30, 2017 14:39

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nick (Post 127184)
Code:

          Holy         
          |           
Arcane------------Nature
          |           
        Death

Now details:

Arcane magic I tend to think of as technology. It will have spells of detection, teleportation, dungeon modification, and mental control over objects, and will use the elements of acid, fire, electricity and cold, or directly use mana to wound or create explosive effects. Its pure spellcasting class is the Mage, who will be an exceptional device user but poor at fighting.

I think acid, fire, electricity and cold are NATURE effects and have basically nothing to do with arcane magic.

Furthermore i do think with fine tuning like adjusting spell level or mana cost we do the 2nd step before the 1st step.

1st step is to make sure which spells in a type / school exist (here we need input if it may only contain existing spells or if we add new spells Nick!).

Here are the spells from the old mage class with my understand of their type:

book#1 beginners magic
magic missile - arcane
detect monsters - nature
phase door - arcane (could be renamed into blink)
light area - arcane
detect objects - arcane
cure light wounds - holy
find tr/do/stairs - arcane
stinking cloud - nature

book#2 conjuring and tricks
Confuse Monster - arcane
Lightning Bolt - nature
Trap/Door Dest - arcane
Cure Poison - nature
Sleep Monster - arcane
Teleport Self - arcane
Spear of Light - holy
*Frost Bolt - nature
Wonder - holy

book#3 incantations and illusions
Satisfy Hunger - nature
Lesser Recharging - arcane
Stone to Mud - arcane or nature
*Fire Bolt - nature
Polymorph Other - arcane
Identify - arcane
Reveal Monsters - nature
*Acid Bolt - nature
Slow Monster - arcane

book#4 sorcery
Frost Ball - nature
Teleport Other - arcane
Haste Self - arcane
Mass Sleep - arcane
Fire Ball - nature
Detect Treasure - arcane

book#5 resistances
Resist Cold - nature
Resist Fire - nature
Resist Poison - nature
Resistance - nature
Shield - holy

book#6 raals
Shock Wave - nature
Explosion - nature
Cloudkill - nature
Acid Ball - nature
Ice Storm - nature
Meteor Swarm - nature ?
Rift - arcane

book#7 escapes
Door Creation - arcane
Stair Creation - arcane
Teleport Level - arcane
Word of Recall - arcane
Rune of Protec - holy

book#8 transformation
Heroism - holy
Berserker - holy
Enchant Armor - arcane / holy
Enchant Weapon - arcane / holy (if you think of it as blessed)
Greater Recharging - arcane
Elemental Brand - nature

book#9 power
Earthquake - nature
Bedlam - arcane
*Rend Soul - death
Banishment - arcane
Word of Destr - death
Mass Banishment - arcane
Chaos Strike - death
Mana Storm - arcane

So the next steps would naturally be:
1. Nick declares if this typing is his understanding as well.
2. Is this list exclusive or may we suggest new spells for the four types.
3. Agree on list of spells.
4. Setup level, mana cost, damage, range of spell (here we could add diversity with spell range not always be 20)

Tibarius December 30, 2017 15:02

ideas for spells which currently not exist
 
arcane spells:
1. mana shield - mid game spell - damage is absorbed 1/2 by HP and 1/2 by mana
2. light armor / weapon - early game spell - add +1 light to an object
3. charm - mid / late game spell - monster is charmed and fights for mage and treats other monsters as enemies
4. invisibility - early game spell - stealth +2/+4/+6/+8/+10 till level 10/20/30/40/50
5. alarm - mid game spell - mage senses if a monster moves over the space with the alarm spell
6. create wand - early / mid game spell - creates a wand of mana / bolt / magic missile / missile storm, spell and spell damage is dependant on int and character level
7. arcane link - mid game spell - max mana x2/x3/x4/x5 with CL/10 for a specific duration could reduce dependancy on consumeables
8. the existing magic missile is renamed into mana bolt (straight direction)
9. magic missle - mid game spell - the missile flies magically curves until it reaches its target (round corner, wave lines, but not trough other monsters or walls)
10. missile storm - mid / end game spell - fires CL/10 magic missiles in a row
11. focus - early / mid game spell - temporary +4 int

Tibarius December 30, 2017 18:45

early game as mage (old class)
 
Just to mention it - i played the old mage class almost the whole day now. I consider myself expert playing this game. I know pretty much everything that one can know about it, i won versus Morgoth (with different classes).

I died about twenty times now with new chars (mages). And the two most killing situations were:
1. killed by an invisible monster once i leave the stairs
2. killed by anything once the mana is out and i am not close to stairs

So there is no need to increase difficulty level for mages Nick. The game should stay playble even for new players.

Philip December 30, 2017 21:43

Perhaps you would die less often if you relied more on devices to do damage? More mana would also make running away from monsters you can't handle easier.

I feel like a lot of the ideas you propose are more variant territory, notably with spell acquisition and your new spells, both of which diverge significantly from current mechanics (some of them are also a bit overpowered).

Nick December 30, 2017 22:28

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tibarius (Post 127195)
I think acid, fire, electricity and cold are NATURE effects and have basically nothing to do with arcane magic.

I'm thinking of electricity, fire and cold as artificially produced effects. You might be right about acid. I think all of them can be argued both ways.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tibarius (Post 127195)
Here are the spells from the old mage class with my understand of their type:

OK, I'll remove the ones I agree with and add comments where I disagree (and I'll leave the base elements aside too)

Quote:

detect monsters - nature
I think this is arcane (and probably should include detecting invisible monsters at level 15-20). Detect Living will be the nature spell. Think of this as detecting disruption in the air of the dungeon, or something like that
Quote:

light area - arcane
Anything to do with light is holy

Quote:

Confuse Monster - arcane
Charming of creatures is nature
Quote:

Trap/Door Dest - arcane
Interesting point, and we don't have one of those. Doors, yes, arcane; traps, maybe it depends on the type of trap, but probably arcane as well, actually. Note that in 4.1 traps are actually disabled temporarily.

Quote:

Sleep Monster - arcane
Nature
Quote:

Wonder - holy
Interesting - I had called it arcane, but maybe you're right
Quote:

Stone to Mud - arcane or nature
Yes, I said nature, but you could argue arcane
Quote:

Polymorph Other - arcane
Creature manipulation I have as nature; you could possibly argue death (messing with spirits and bodies)
Quote:

Reveal Monsters - nature
Same applies here as to Detect Monsters
Quote:

Slow Monster - arcane
Nature
Quote:

Haste Self - arcane
I have this as nature - direct effect on the player
Quote:

Mass Sleep - arcane
Nature

Quote:

Resist Cold - nature
Resist Fire - nature
Resistance - nature
You're probably right here, although I had given them to arcane.
Quote:

Shield - holy
Good point - this is probably right
Quote:

Shock Wave - nature
Explosion - nature
These feel arcane to me
Quote:

Meteor Swarm - nature ?
That was my feeling too
Quote:

Rift - arcane
I've gone with gravity as a nature element

Quote:

Word of Recall - arcane
Yes, or holy? I don't have strong feelings
Quote:

Rune of Protec - holy
Yes, that's probably correct
Quote:

Berserker - holy
I'd probably call this death
Quote:

Enchant Armor - arcane / holy
Enchant Weapon - arcane / holy (if you think of it as blessed)
Yes, I'd say holy

Quote:

Bedlam - arcane
Nature
Quote:

Word of Destr - death
I've given this to both holy and death

Some of your new spells are really interesting, too.

Thanks for all your input on this. I'm inclined to think I need to go away and come back with a new spell list based on these ideas, and we can see where we stand.

Derakon December 30, 2017 22:45

It sounds like, in general, we can characterize the realms something like this:

* Nature: biological and mental buffs and debuffs; effects and elements associated with natural disasters
* Holy: "positive" (non-mixed-blessing) buffs that aren't nature; anti-undead/evil/demonic; light
* Death: mixed-blessing buffs and non-nature debuffs; effects associated with undeath/evil/demons; darkness and nether (and hellfire?)
* Arcane: "technical" effects dealing with raw manipulation of magical energy; detection and knowledge; exotic elements

Nick December 31, 2017 01:52

Quote:

Originally Posted by Derakon (Post 127200)
It sounds like, in general, we can characterize the realms something like this:

* Nature: biological and mental buffs and debuffs; effects and elements associated with natural disasters
* Holy: "positive" (non-mixed-blessing) buffs that aren't nature; anti-undead/evil/demonic; light
* Death: mixed-blessing buffs and non-nature debuffs; effects associated with undeath/evil/demons; darkness and nether (and hellfire?)
* Arcane: "technical" effects dealing with raw manipulation of magical energy; detection and knowledge; exotic elements

Yeah, that looks pretty good. In fact, I'll have a go at actually splitting up all the elements (I largely did it in an earlier post, but let's try and have a definitive list):
  • Nature - poison (maybe death gets to use this too), water, ice, gravity, sound, plasma, meteors
  • Arcane - missile, mana, arrow, force, nexus
  • Holy - light, holy orb
  • Death - dark, nether, chaos, disenchantment
This leaves
  • acid, electricity, fire, cold - I kind of want to leave all these available to either nature or arcane (and maybe even death, for fire and cold)
  • shards - a bit like the previous, they could be used directly by nature or as the outcome of an explosion by arcane
  • inertia, time - could really be anything.

How is this looking?

Derakon December 31, 2017 02:15

Looks plausible to me. I don't think we necessarily need to make every element available to some realm; there's nothing wrong with e.g. nobody ever getting access to a plasma or disenchantment spell. I like the idea of the basic elements being more shared, as well, because they're the only elements that have common resistances and semi-common vulnerabilities, so there's marginally more choice to whether you use them or not. No reason to limit those choices to only one realm.

If you do give gravity/inertia spells to any casters, make sure that you don't do what ToME2 did and allow them to apply a large, stacking slow effect to monsters. Getting 10 turns to every 1 of a given monster's turns was fun, but probably not very balanced. :)

Tibarius December 31, 2017 05:13

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nick (Post 127201)
Yeah, that looks pretty good. In fact, I'll have a go at actually splitting up all the elements (I largely did it in an earlier post, but let's try and have a definitive list):
  • Nature - poison (maybe death gets to use this too), water, ice, gravity, sound, plasma, meteors
  • Arcane - missile, mana, arrow, force, nexus
  • Holy - light, holy orb
  • Death - dark, nether, chaos, disenchantment
This leaves
  • acid, electricity, fire, cold - I kind of want to leave all these available to either nature or arcane (and maybe even death, for fire and cold)
  • shards - a bit like the previous, they could be used directly by nature or as the outcome of an explosion by arcane
  • inertia, time - could really be anything.

How is this looking?

Looks good so far, even tho i would say mind based spells are more arcane than nature. But ok.

I agree that not every type must be available for player realms.

I see the base elements clearly as nature type. And that would be the difference to arcane realms - having the option to use the vulnerabilities of monsters to a larger degree. I think it is a good idea to keep the realms unique in some way.

Poison is death in my eyes because the motive is already damaging, while the elements in themselves are neither good nor evil.

I agree that fire and cold are elements also fitting for death theme.

For the hybrids:
battlemage = fighter + arcane (mage)
rogue = fighter + death (necromant)
ranger = fighter + nature (druid, that name is ok for me)
paladin = fighter + holy (priest)

detections:
arcane: monster (the opposite of living would rather be non-living, but thats too few from game mechanics point of view i guess)
nature: living
holy: evil
necromant: good?

unique powers:
arcane: mana attacks (unresistable) / teleport other
nature: elemental brand (ranger) / meteors
death: haste self / improved sneak / (rogue, for that reason time fits best for death)
holy: enchant armor / enchant weapon / rune of protection / holy orb

I guess healing is nature (low/medium) and holy (medium/high).

For the sake of gameplay i think banishment and mass banishment should be removed. They totally break the game mechanics. And Morgoth should be evil so that holy spells do double damage.

I wonder if detections / haste / resistance are required from all magic types because of game mechanic balance.
For the same reason i wonder if reducing the number of books from 9 to 5 is a good idea either.

fph December 31, 2017 14:52

Designing a new magic system is surely fun, but what is your final goal for the game? Making magic more Tolkien-esque? Introducing new classes to add variety into the available caster options? Fixing some drawbacks with the existing mage/priest classes (and if so which ones)?

I don't mean to sound critical --- I just think it's good to have a direction in mind, when brainstorming and playtesting. It seems to me that the previous changes all had a clear goal of fixing a deficiency of the game (the ID minigame, the tedium of constantly detecting traps...), but I don't see one immediately here.

Derakon December 31, 2017 16:11

Quote:

Originally Posted by fph (Post 127207)
Designing a new magic system is surely fun, but what is your final goal for the game? Making magic more Tolkien-esque? Introducing new classes to add variety into the available caster options? Fixing some drawbacks with the existing mage/priest classes (and if so which ones)?

I don't mean to sound critical --- I just think it's good to have a direction in mind, when brainstorming and playtesting. It seems to me that the previous changes all had a clear goal of fixing a deficiency of the game (the ID minigame, the tedium of constantly detecting traps...), but I don't see one immediately here.

The main issue I can identify is that we have, very broadly speaking, three classes in the game right now: fighter, mage, and priest. The hybrids aren't very well-distinguished from either end. Sure, rogues are stealthy and rangers have great archery, but playstyles are pretty similar within a given magical realm. Bringing stronger differentiation into how different classes use magic ought to allow the game to support more playstyles, in theory.

That in mind, I wouldn't necessarily leap to the conclusion that every magical realm should have an associated hybrid class...or at least, hybrids don't have to be "fighter, plus they can also cast spells from X realm". For example, you could have a "swamp mage" that casts spells from both Nature and Death realms, or a, uh, Channeler, who gets only one or two hand-picked, powerful spells from each realm, plus great magic device skill. I dunno, I'm just throwing ideas out there.

clouded December 31, 2017 17:21

The Zangband design of many small realms (2 town books, 2 dungeon books) and mages/priests choosing two realms, hybrids choosing one etc is quite good and provides a decent amount of character customization without going too overboard.

Nick December 31, 2017 22:08

Quote:

Originally Posted by fph (Post 127207)
Designing a new magic system is surely fun, but what is your final goal for the game? Making magic more Tolkien-esque? Introducing new classes to add variety into the available caster options? Fixing some drawbacks with the existing mage/priest classes (and if so which ones)?

I don't mean to sound critical --- I just think it's good to have a direction in mind, when brainstorming and playtesting. It seems to me that the previous changes all had a clear goal of fixing a deficiency of the game (the ID minigame, the tedium of constantly detecting traps...), but I don't see one immediately here.

Good question.

The first thing that prompted it was a discussion (back in the old magic thread) about the fact that current classes have a whole bunch of spells that never really get used (or got superseded). This, plus recognition of the "mages/priests get a spell like this, let's give priests/mages one too to make it fair" phenomenon led me to want to cut the number of spells, and make the whole collection more coherent.

So, along the lines of what Derakon said, we get a small number of fairly distinct magic realms. Next question is, what should they be? Obviously we have mage and priest, but do we need any more, and if so what? The answers I have put forward in this thread are totally not just from copying Oangband, but from thinking about what types of "super-nature" were evident in Middle-Earth in (among others) Feanor and the other elven smiths, the wizards, the ents, Sauron, Luthien.

So in practice, we have caster classes with fewer, more focused spells - which means more reliance on devices and consumables. Luckily we can cut down the number of books.

The other thing that's worth mentioning here is that there's a revamp of the monster list going to happen too, and one of the things I want to do with that is think of monster spellcasters in terms of the realm landscape. There's also the possibility of adding monster spells inspired by player spells, and vice versa.

I hope that answers your question :)

Quote:

Originally Posted by clouded (Post 127209)
The Zangband design of many small realms (2 town books, 2 dungeon books) and mages/priests choosing two realms, hybrids choosing one etc is quite good and provides a decent amount of character customization without going too overboard.

True, and that would have been an alternative approach. It's possible that aspects of that approach could be included at some later stage, but I'll try to stick to not too many things at once :)

Antoine January 1, 2018 01:00

So what I'm taking from this thread, Nick, is that you need to think in very concrete terms about how each class's spell selection influences its playstyle. Particularly in terms of its access to detection, escapes, monster removal, healing and DPS at the various stages of the game. I mean the thematic stuff is important too, but the playstyle is really the sharp end of this.

A.

Nick January 1, 2018 01:11

New builds are now available for macOS and Windows (the top ones on this page).

I've reworked the first three books for the new mage. Magic Missile is now as with old mages, but in the second book; this way it keeps the thematic nature of those two books, and the player has a choice of how to start out.

Things to note:
  • Nexus attacks now have a chance of blinking or teleporting monsters, and new mages get one in the third book;
  • The Detect Monsters spell currently only detects visible monsters; the intent is top have that upgrade to detecting invisible too at around CL25, but I haven't implemented spell upgrades yet;
  • I had forgotten Identify Rune and Trap/Door Disable/Destroy, so they get those now too.

I feel like these guys are really plenty powerful, especially at high level, but we'll see.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Antoine (Post 127211)
So what I'm taking from this thread, Nick, is that you need to think in very concrete terms about how each class's spell selection influences its playstyle. Particularly in terms of its access to detection, escapes, monster removal and DPS at the various stages of the game. I mean the thematic stuff is important too, but the playstyle is really the sharp end of this.

Yes, absolutely. I've just kind of thrown damage values, mana costs and levels in there at what seems about right to me, but there will need to be balancing.

Also, Happy New Year!

Antoine January 1, 2018 01:12

Quote:

Originally Posted by Antoine (Post 127211)
So what I'm taking from this thread, Nick, is that you need to think in very concrete terms about how each class's spell selection influences its playstyle. Particularly in terms of its access to detection, escapes, monster removal, healing and DPS at the various stages of the game. I mean the thematic stuff is important too, but the playstyle is really the sharp end of this.

A.

In particular, you need to be careful with ideas like "capability X clearly falls within the domain of realm Y". Because while it may make thematic sense, it leaves every realm _except_ Y completely without access to capability X.

A.

Antoine January 1, 2018 01:13

> Yes, absolutely. I've just kind of thrown damage values, mana costs and levels in there at what seems about right to me, but there will need to be balancing.

I wrote my last post while you were drafting this, so we may have crossed to some extent.

Happy New Year to you too!

A.

Nick January 1, 2018 01:50

Quote:

Originally Posted by Antoine (Post 127213)
In particular, you need to be careful with ideas like "capability X clearly falls within the domain of realm Y". Because while it may make thematic sense, it leaves every realm _except_ Y completely without access to capability X.

This is in some ways an intended consequence - part of the current silliness, IMHO, is both classes getting a full suite of teleport spells. So I'm intending for pure spellcasters to have to rely on scrolls/potions/devices a bit more for things outside their realm; obviously a balance has to be struck here, though.

Tibarius January 1, 2018 10:27

test play
 
Ok, the latest build is playable. You can start with either usefull kit or not. You can with a little collecting or straight buy the attack magic book. Magic missile as low level spell. Feels ok to get frost / fire bolt slightly later than before. Currently CL 16. Did not expect that missing light and spear of light spell would be such noticeable. Currently the detect invis monster is again the main point for this character. The missing create food spell forces slightly more often to recal to town, and (which is much more risky) recal back to dungeon without being on stairs. Stone to mud is not missing, even tho it was very handy in some situations. What feels a bit odd ... fire ball spell available before fire bolt spell (which in my imagination is easier to learn / control).

kaypy January 2, 2018 04:07

I'm a version out of date, but I just got Dimension Door, and it appears to teleport the player to the current location of the player. That was a bit of a disappointment.

edit: fix: give TELEPORT_TO an aim flag in list-effects.h

Oh, also, without a haste spell I have been using a bunch of slow monster wands. They seem to work on pretty much anything- did they get a major buff at some stage? I don't remember them being that effective in the past...

Nick January 2, 2018 05:08

Quote:

Originally Posted by kaypy (Post 127225)
I'm a version out of date, but I just got Dimension Door, and it appears to teleport the player to the current location of the player. That was a bit of a disappointment.

edit: fix: give TELEPORT_TO an aim flag in list-effects.h

Thanks for find and fix - fix is pushed, new builds should be up soon.

Quote:

Originally Posted by kaypy (Post 127225)
Oh, also, without a haste spell I have been using a bunch of slow monster wands. They seem to work on pretty much anything- did they get a major buff at some stage? I don't remember them being that effective in the past...

There was a big change to monster status not long before 4.1.0 came out (IIRC).

takkaria January 2, 2018 05:59

Quote:

Originally Posted by kaypy (Post 127225)
Oh, also, without a haste spell I have been using a bunch of slow monster wands. They seem to work on pretty much anything- did they get a major buff at some stage? I don't remember them being that effective in the past...

See https://github.com/angband/angband/b...ttack.txt#L171 Yes, slow monster works on most things. But it only reduces speed by 2, rather than 10.

Gwarl January 2, 2018 11:18

Iow don't bother; confuse is similarly useless

Nick January 2, 2018 11:35

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gwarl (Post 127229)
Iow don't bother; confuse is similarly useless

Man, you're going to hate druids :D

Gwarl January 2, 2018 11:42

Conversely if they rely on slow and confuse I'd probably love them if we got old slow and confuse back.

I feel like we listened to everyone who didn't like using status effects for that change. Slow and confuse are my bread and butter.

Sorry I have nothing to contribute other than griping over that change (if it was reverted who would miss it?), I haven't been able to enjoy a game of vanilla since it went in.

Estie January 2, 2018 22:56

Nick obviously has ideas and I was going to wait for them to show up before commenting, but since other people didnt wait, here are a few thoughts of mine:

The new mage, as of its first version, is a challenge compared to the old one or indeed any other class. He gets banishment later just like the old mage, but there is another option. He could get big spell damage instead - numbers comparable to ranger, just from casting his dungeon book spells. No banishment - that could be a necromancer thing ? - but in any case, I dont agree with Tibarius when he says that banishemnt breaks the game.

Instead of saying "a mage should play like X", I think the attraction of Angband doesnt come from picking the right way to play a class, but rather from the fact that there are transitions during a characters career.
By that I mean distinct phases which have a different way to solve the problems; the next phase always having the allure of being able to deal with previously hard problems more easily.
For old mage, the biggest (but not only) transition was gaining the ability to cast banishment. You have to get there first - it requires the book, enough hp and a low enough fail rate to do efficiently - and once there, the game becomes an easy (or boring - which is the same thing) farming of stat potions and items before winning the game.

Now you can argue that getting loot by banishing vault inhabitants is broken, and I wouldnt disagree. But that isnt a bad thing. Because it doesnt last long - with that efficent a way of getting loot, youre soon ready for the bossfights - and, and this is the main point, because the actual phases dont matter that much.
The interesting play happens during a transition, between phases, while you are trying to get to the next phase - please pause here and think about this. -----------------------------------------------------------------------
Banishment isnt good because it creates a great mage playstyle, but rather because it is a delicious carrot dangling in front of the mages nose in his earlier levels. With such a carrot ahead, you can justify all the suffering from low hit points and low damage and whatever else you dont want to give the early mage.

Balancae in Angband has always been utility + killing power = constant, and I dont see why that should change. With that given, we have the old classes:

Warrior: highest average damage, lowest utility
Ranger: highest peak damage, medium utility
Mage: lowest damage, best utility

Other classes differ in some way, but the sum remains more or less constant.

With 4 casters to fit in there, how can they be made different without breaking the balance ?

One combination not existing in previous angband has been high spell damage, low utility. Mage gets banishment, which is the ultimate utility spell, but no big damage. So I see the possibility with the new mage, who has been denied some utility compared to his old self, to continue on that path, and instead of giving him banishment to make up for the early suffering, give him high damage spells. Again, a nuking mage maybe isnt the greatest concept, but the point is to make him suffer earlier to eventually achieve demigod status.

So maybe arcane mage could be nuker in the endgame, while necromancer could be king of utility - like old mage, with banishment and mass version. Or the other way round - awaiting Nick´s input.

As for crowd control/debuffs, or druid, or whatever is planned:
In angaband, cc effects havent been competitive since players learned how to win win the game. You always take a speed potion over a slow monster wand.

A druid who has a very efficteve way of cc and picks that over self buffs is an option. The old saying that if you can do it once, you have to do it all the time applies, but that is ok if the cc playstyle is a phase and eventually gets replaced (or is preceded ba a phase of different playstyle).

In this sense, I liked Nick´s starting concept of the new mage: start with utility and make do without killing spells, to get to a stage where you have powerful damage spells. One might argue that sneaking around and collecting loot is more of a rogue thing, and I would agree, but that is only a means to get to the state of being a mage and fireballing enemies. This is 2 distinct stages, the second stage superior to the first, and work to be done to achieve it.

Since Nick obviously has ideas of his own, i´ll keep waiting for more caster classes to test (:

Gwarl January 2, 2018 23:28

Quote:

Originally Posted by Estie (Post 127239)
You always take a speed potion over a slow monster wand.

If you have tons of both. But early on speed potions are something you're rationing out for emergencies or killing uniques - unless you have plenty, then you can use them for every encounter. But slow monster can be used for almost every encounter, it's a bit more fiddly than a potion of speed but it can often be just as effective. And it's cumulative with a potion of speed. With the full-los area effect version it becomes a good option in more varieties of situation, and confusion is even better.

(All that applies to classic confuse/slow)

Estie January 2, 2018 23:39

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gwarl (Post 127240)
If you have tons of both. But early on speed potions are something you're rationing out for emergencies or killing uniques - unless you have plenty, then you can use them for every encounter. But slow monster can be used for almost every encounter, it's a bit more fiddly than a potion of speed but it can often be just as effective. And it's cumulative with a potion of speed. With the full-los area effect version it becomes a good option in more varieties of situation, and confusion is even better.

(All that applies to classic confuse/slow)

Sure, but if inventors is limited and you want to pick one of speed/slow, which do you pick ?

kaypy January 3, 2018 00:34

A few more points:

What is the use case for Thrust Away? It seemed to me redundant with Explosion

In the early books, I would tend to swap detect monsters and detect stair/door/trap. The "who do I want to avoid" is a more important initial consideration for a fragile mage. But its a minor niggle (now that I can sacrifice my entire starting inventory to that all-important magic missile).

I would be tending towards dumping Identify as a spell (having just gone through a game without). I suppose its useful for ironman?...

For those of us who still tend toward a siegeing playstyle the book allocation depths are a big difference from Keleks dropping right at the bottom of the dungeon.

Nick January 3, 2018 00:49

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gwarl (Post 127232)
Conversely if they rely on slow and confuse I'd probably love them if we got old slow and confuse back.

I feel like we listened to everyone who didn't like using status effects for that change. Slow and confuse are my bread and butter.

Sorry I have nothing to contribute other than griping over that change (if it was reverted who would miss it?), I haven't been able to enjoy a game of vanilla since it went in.

All right, let's have a serious think about this. I am currently planning the new Druid class, with monster status effects to have a prominent part (especially in the early-mid game). So here are some questions (be specific):
  • What is good about the new status effects?
  • What is bad about them?
  • What actual before-and-after played experience can anyone relate to indicate whether changes should be made?

Nick January 3, 2018 01:12

Quote:

Originally Posted by Estie (Post 127239)
The interesting play happens during a transition, between phases, while you are trying to get to the next phase

Yes, interesting - I hadn't thought of that explicitly, although in hindsight it's kind of implicit in some of my choices of when spells are learned (as you said later).

Quote:

Originally Posted by Estie (Post 127239)
So maybe arcane mage could be nuker in the endgame, while necromancer could be king of utility - like old mage, with banishment and mass version. Or the other way round - awaiting Nick´s input.

I'm inclined to think mages keep the banishment spells, which are more about dungeon control (these creatures are no longer there) than mass killing. Necromancers will be more about actually killing stuff, which will involve greater personal risk but also give experience and loot.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Estie (Post 127239)
A druid who has a very efficteve way of cc and picks that over self buffs is an option. The old saying that if you can do it once, you have to do it all the time applies, but that is ok if the cc playstyle is a phase and eventually gets replaced (or is preceded ba a phase of different playstyle).

Yes, I'm seeing them as having crowd control, environment shaping, self-reliance (satisfy hunger, etc) and then some decent damage/status spells ("weather" effects like ice storm) late game.

Nick January 3, 2018 01:16

Quote:

Originally Posted by kaypy (Post 127242)
A few more points:

What is the use case for Thrust Away? It seemed to me redundant with Explosion

OK, I hadn't actually thought of those as similar, but I see your point. The idea of Thrust Away is that you can keep damaging a single enemy while keeping it out of melee (and dangerous breath) range, whereas Explosion is more targeted at hitting multiple enemies. Possibly damage/mana need tweaking.

Quote:

Originally Posted by kaypy (Post 127242)
For those of us who still tend toward a siegeing playstyle the book allocation depths are a big difference from Keleks dropping right at the bottom of the dungeon.

With only three dungeon books it's not as clear where they should drop - that's also up for discussion.

PowerWyrm January 3, 2018 08:53

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nick (Post 127243)
All right, let's have a serious think about this. I am currently planning the new Druid class, with monster status effects to have a prominent part (especially in the early-mid game). So here are some questions (be specific):
  • What is good about the new status effects?
  • What is bad about them?
  • What actual before-and-after played experience can anyone relate to indicate whether changes should be made?

Good: they're finally useful, as you can stun/confuse/slow almost everything (including Morgoth)
Bad: once you have a sling of buckland or heavy xbow of extra shots, you won't care much about status effects (or anything else for that matter), so yeah they're basically early/midgame stuff
Changes: add a mass effect version of those for the endgame (see mages with Bedlam for example)

Gwarl January 3, 2018 12:02

I honestly don't think it's a positive change at all. You could recreate the effect on gameplay by giving all monsters slightly erratic movement, reducing their speed by 2, reducing their damage and to hit, and removing inventory slots from the player. This would be preferable as there would be fewer keystrokes.

Standard confuse/slow can be used creatively in a variety of situations, i.e. hampering the lead monster in a group to be able to escape down a corridor.

I appreciate I am sort of a lone crusader for the old status effects, but I also think they were underused and underappreciated and the change caters to people who don't like using status effects. I don't think status effects should cater to them - the rest of the game does. The unpredictability of status effects as well as the sensitivity to context of their usefulness catered toward a different kind of playstyle which I haven't been able to pursue in a game since. It feels hollow and pushes me toward other variants which is a shame because I like everything else that was going on with V.

Nick January 3, 2018 21:55

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gwarl (Post 127255)
I honestly don't think it's a positive change at all. You could recreate the effect on gameplay by giving all monsters slightly erratic movement, reducing their speed by 2, reducing their damage and to hit, and removing inventory slots from the player. This would be preferable as there would be fewer keystrokes.

Standard confuse/slow can be used creatively in a variety of situations, i.e. hampering the lead monster in a group to be able to escape down a corridor.

OK, so here's an idea - I assume it's slow and confuse that you have the problem with, and this works for both of them.

Keep the new mechanics, except magnify the effects the more slowed/confused the monster is. So, using slow as an example, slowing something once reduces its speed by 2, but you can keep doing that and it will keep getting slower - and then gradually speed up as the effect wears off.

Now imagine using a staff of Confuse Monsters multiple times on a mixed group of hounds :)

Gwarl January 3, 2018 23:21

I think it would be preferable simply giving the monster a save.

If the effect is effective on everything it will trivialise the entire game, as when no-save was first introduced before the effects themselves were nerfed to compensate. Confuse shouldn't work on everything, it should be great when it does but let you down if you're leaning on it as a crutch. Saving throws vs status effects are a good mechanic, it just needed a little tweaking, not to throw the entire system away.

Nick January 4, 2018 07:21

Well, we have plenty of time to experiment before 4.2, and the druid class (which I'm hoping to get a testing version out for before too long) should be good for that.

Tibarius January 4, 2018 18:36

testplay experience
 
Hmm, i played a few new mages to around CL 25 DL 30. Without taking numbers it seemed to me that it even got harder than before. Now i took a look at the coming books #4 / #5 which i never found so far.

light / spear of light were very much used before from me, didn't expect them to be such good to keep early dungeon control up

i miss stone to mud a lot in the mid game, making new shortcuts or the like, or creating new tunnnels for the bolt spells

now i see #4 and #5 start dropping from DL50 on. That totally breaks with the exponential power curve to my understanding. And there is no in-between power level between #2 and #5. That is a major design fault in my eyes.

And there is no haste self anymore. That was a major compensator to negate the very weak physical abilites, because you were quicker than most monsters. And only a little number of monsters could double-move you.

I still think banishment / mass banishment are no good from game mechanics point of view.

So i sadly classify the new mage as badly designed. I cannot realy understand the changes. To make mage class more interesting it is required to increase the relevant number of drops, not to reduce them. The spell power does not grow exponential anymore.

If that is the way the game will develop i encourage to take out banishment / mass banishment, add haste self to book 4, move mana bolt from #5 to #4 and almost double damage of mana bolt. Mana bolt and mana storm damage should be based on CL so that early dropds to not destroy game balance too hard. 1/4 damage fix 3/4 of it CL based.

Nick January 4, 2018 20:29

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tibarius (Post 127269)
Hmm, i played a few new mages to around CL 25 DL 30. Without taking numbers it seemed to me that it even got harder than before. Now i took a look at the coming books #4 / #5 which i never found so far.

light / spear of light were very much used before from me, didn't expect them to be such good to keep early dungeon control up

i miss stone to mud a lot in the mid game, making new shortcuts or the like, or creating new tunnnels for the bolt spells

now i see #4 and #5 start dropping from DL50 on. That totally breaks with the exponential power curve to my understanding. And there is no in-between power level between #2 and #5. That is a major design fault in my eyes.

And there is no haste self anymore. That was a major compensator to negate the very weak physical abilites, because you were quicker than most monsters. And only a little number of monsters could double-move you.

I still think banishment / mass banishment are no good from game mechanics point of view.

So i sadly classify the new mage as badly designed. I cannot realy understand the changes. To make mage class more interesting it is required to increase the relevant number of drops, not to reduce them. The spell power does not grow exponential anymore.

If that is the way the game will develop i encourage to take out banishment / mass banishment, add haste self to book 4, move mana bolt from #5 to #4 and almost double damage of mana bolt. Mana bolt and mana storm damage should be based on CL so that early dropds to not destroy game balance too hard. 1/4 damage fix 3/4 of it CL based.

Thanks for all your excellent feedback. I'll rework new mages again, along the following lines:
  • Book 5 will probably start dropping at DL70 (I'm not sure what I intended, but it wasn't 4 and 5 at 50);
  • I want to keep Banishment and Mass Banishment, but they need to be late;
  • At least one of the book 5 spells needs to be earlier, probably Mana Bolt.

For your other issues, Spear of Light and Stone to Mud I expected players would miss, but they can be replaced with wand/rod use. Haste is an interesting one which I haven't solved yet.

And badly designed - yes, but we're not finished yet :)

Tibarius January 4, 2018 21:15

improvement suggestion
 
I was editing my earlier post because i recognized that it is not enough to just claim a bad design, but also suggest something better instead. But Nick already replied while i was editing. So here are the improvement suggestions ...

Book drop level should be something like
1: shop
2: DL 10
3: DL 20
4: DL 30
5: DL 50
6: DL 80

No good is the thematic order because gaining books should influence the char power level more than adding certain kind of spells.

So my proposal (spell level, spell name):

#1 Path of the Mage (available in shop)
01 magic missile
02 detect monsters
03 find doors, traps & stairs
04 recharge (must have realy low rate to explode wands / staves)
05 frost bolt (mana 2)

#2 Arcane Patterns
06 phase door (mana 2)
07 identify (should also identify potions & scrolls)
08 disable traps & destroy doors
09 probe monster (as if you had a rod of probing, only for a single monster tho)
10 fire bolt (mana 3)

#3 Wizard Visions
11 reveal monsters (mana 3)
12 acid bolt (mana 4)
13 fire ball (mana 5, range 2)
14 detect treasures
15 teleport self

#4 Arcane Control
16 stone to mud
17 teleport other
18 resistance cold
19 resistance fire
20 shield (+AC & nothing in the inventory can be destroyed anymore by secondary effects)

#5 Sorcerer's Force
21 resistance
22 explosion (mana 8, range 2 shard ball)
23 word of recall
24 teleport level
25 mana bolt (mana 10, damage CL*5, additional hold effect if monster fails saving throw)

#6 The Warlocks Tome of Power
26 greater recharge
27 telepathy
28 Dimension Door (teleport to location)
29 globe of protection (immunity cold, fire, acid, electricity + monsters can enter melee range only if they succeed a dice roll vs CL)
30 mana storm (mana 15, range 3 mana ball, damage CL*10, additional hold effect if monster fails saving throw)

The mage's special is that at CL 20 and CL 40 the mana regeneration is doubled (making it x4 at CL 40).
Chance for beam instead of bolt is CL/2.

fph January 4, 2018 21:29

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nick (Post 127270)
Haste is an interesting one which I haven't solved yet.

If the problem is thematic, and you believe that haste self is a nature spell because it "affects the player directly", then a cheap fix would be having a "slow the passing of time around the player" spell, which is clearly arcane in theme... :D

Tibarius January 4, 2018 21:34

slow
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by fph (Post 127273)
If the problem is thematic, and you believe that haste self is a nature spell because it "affects the player directly", then a cheap fix would be having a "slow the passing of time around the player" spell, which is clearly arcane in theme... :D

*laugh* i actually considerd that too!

But again *beg* please remove Banishment / Mass Banishment, i think the proposed globe of protection spell fits more thematic AND game mechanic like.

Ighalli January 5, 2018 01:47

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tibarius (Post 127271)
04 recharge (must have really low rate to explode wands / staves)

Can I sneak in a suggestion here? Can we make all recharging effects display the percentage chance of failure? And remove curse too (instead of the strengths vs. dice)?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nick;
Keep the new mechanics, except magnify the effects the more slowed/confused the monster is. So, using slow as an example, slowing something once reduces its speed by 2, but you can keep doing that and it will keep getting slower - and then gradually speed up as the effect wears off.

Remember that this would make subsequent slow effects last much longer than the initial ones, which would lead to stacking slow possibly being much better than stacking confuses. Of course, you could make the additional slow effects shorter and shorter to compensate. Come to think of it, how many turns is a monster expected to lose per slow effect right now?

I've not yet had a chance to try out the new mage. Probably won't since I'm an Angband newbie and won't have the best feel for balance and so forth, but the conversations around it are quite interesting.

wobbly January 5, 2018 02:07

The major problems with banish exist in scroll form too. If you were going to do something about them I'd look at them in general rather then removing it from mages. Look at the Morgoth fight for instance. Morgoth summons. You send all of Morgoths summons away. Now it's just damage/round+healing consumables. Not a huge amount of room for tactical play.

Derakon January 5, 2018 02:39

Quote:

Originally Posted by wobbly (Post 127277)
The major problems with banish exist in scroll form too. If you were going to do something about them I'd look at them in general rather then removing it from mages. Look at the Morgoth fight for instance. Morgoth summons. You send all of Morgoths summons away. Now it's just damage/round+healing consumables. Not a huge amount of room for tactical play.

As long as your resources are sufficiently constrained that you can't do this frequently, there's still decision-making in terms of what amount/kind of summons you're willing to tolerate before you hit the nuke button. And speaking of nukes, Destruction is just as bad as banishment on that front, when talking about the final fight at least. It's less useful for clearing vaults of course, but it's entirely feasible to just clip a few tiles of a vault with Destruction, clearing out the worst enemies (if you're able to lure them to the edge) and coincidentally creating some LOS obstructions.

PowerWyrm January 5, 2018 08:27

Quote:

Originally Posted by wobbly (Post 127277)
Morgoth summons. You send all of Morgoths summons away.

You use your turn. Morgoth acts again.

No the real problem with banishment is that as a spell it has unlimited uses, so you can use that to clear all vaults without trouble, as other classes that don't have access to it must burn a precious consumable item for that.

My idea: just turn the spell into a "mass teleport away" effect, just like priest's Banish Evil does. And leave the scrolls/staves as they are now.

PowerWyrm January 5, 2018 09:55

I'm dubious about these changes. I was expecting something more radical, which would break all the spells into distinct realms and attach those realms to actual classes... a bit like what I did for the Elementalist class in PWMAngband (fire magic, earth magic, air magic... and a spell tome for each). Clearly I don't think using arcane/nature/holy/necromancy is enough, there are many spells that don't fit in that scheme. So at this point I see two paths:

- path 1: reorganize current spells in atomic realms (fire, ice, mana, divination, death, time, healing...), assign one or more realms to classes, one spellbook per spell (available in shops), one tome per realm containing all the spells for that realm (findable in the dungeon)

This is more or less the path taken by ToME/TomeNET (minus the skill system, with a multiplier on each realm for each class which tells how much a class is attuned to that realm).

- path 2: trash current spells, create arcane/nature/holy/necromancy realms, rethink new spells for these realms, make one class per realm

Then you would have:

the melee class (or "6bpr" class)

- Warrior -- pure melee

the spellcasters (or "4bpr" classes)

- Mage -- pure arcane spellcaster
- Druid -- pure nature spellcaster
- Priest -- pure holy spellcaster
- Necromancer -- pure necromancy spellcaster

the hybrid classes (or "5bpr" classes)

- Ranger -- melee + ranged + some nature spells (sub-realm: tracking)
- Paladin -- melee + some holy spells (sub-realm: blessings?)
- Rogue -- melee + stealth + some necromancy spells (sub-realm: shadow)
- Warlock (?) -- melee + some arcane spells (sub-realm: battle magic?)

The easier route is probably the first one, and that's the one which would make life easier for variants with many spellcasting realms (and many corresponding classes). The second choice would be more thematic and would open the road to new base classes, but would also require more thinking/balancing with the new realms/spells.

Philip January 5, 2018 10:38

If you keep the staff effect of Banishment the same but take away the spell from Mages, you do make them burn a slot on it and make it slightly less reliable, but you've done nothing to limit its abuse around vaults, since Mages have Recharge as a spell. There is a trivial way to make Banishment less effective to clear vaults, which is to protect vault tiles from Banish/Destruct.

Note that if Druids were given old slow/confuse etc. then they would be mostly useless against uniques, and since a lot of uniques really kind of have to be killed, like Sauron and Morgoth, that would make them quite aggravating to play.

Old slow/confuse was balanced well enough for the depths where you would find the wand or have just gained the spell - a cheap way to run away from some monsters or get a tactical advantage, at a point where the cost of failure was relatively minor. Unfortunately, the value of one turn goes up as the game goes on, and the value of predictable behavior does too. I can't really comment on new status effects though.

Tibarius January 5, 2018 11:40

goal of the upcoming changes
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by PowerWyrm (Post 127282)
I'm dubious about these changes. I was expecting something more radical, which would break all the spells into distinct realms and attach those realms to actual classes... a bit like what I did for the Elementalist class in PWMAngband (fire magic, earth magic, air magic... and a spell tome for each). Clearly I don't think using arcane/nature/holy/necromancy is enough, there are many spells that don't fit in that scheme. So at this point I see two paths:

- path 1: reorganize current spells in atomic realms (fire, ice, mana, divination, death, time, healing...), assign one or more realms to classes, one spellbook per spell (available in shops), one tome per realm containing all the spells for that realm (findable in the dungeon)

This is more or less the path taken by ToME/TomeNET (minus the skill system, with a multiplier on each realm for each class which tells how much a class is attuned to that realm).

- path 2: trash current spells, create arcane/nature/holy/necromancy realms, rethink new spells for these realms, make one class per realm

Then you would have:

the melee class (or "6bpr" class)

- Warrior -- pure melee

the spellcasters (or "4bpr" classes)

- Mage -- pure arcane spellcaster
- Druid -- pure nature spellcaster
- Priest -- pure holy spellcaster
- Necromancer -- pure necromancy spellcaster

the hybrid classes (or "5bpr" classes)

- Ranger -- melee + ranged + some nature spells (sub-realm: tracking)
- Paladin -- melee + some holy spells (sub-realm: blessings?)
- Rogue -- melee + stealth + some necromancy spells (sub-realm: shadow)
- Warlock (?) -- melee + some arcane spells (sub-realm: battle magic?)

The easier route is probably the first one, and that's the one which would make life easier for variants with many spellcasting realms (and many corresponding classes). The second choice would be more thematic and would open the road to new base classes, but would also require more thinking/balancing with the new realms/spells.

I don't know what you refer to with the term sub-realms. We just have 4 magic realms: arcane, nature, holy & death. Pure caster have all spells, the hybrid classes will have a selection of the available spell of their main class.

Anyway, i think this kind of discussion is useless.
1. Define the goals
2. Think about which steps bring the game closer to the defined goals.

Currently we are discussing changes, and there will always be pros and cons.
The only usefull way i see if you do not define goals is to suggest changes and just collect the number of people who like or dislike them. And follow the route the majority likes.

My personal taste is clearly option 2. And i think we already had a good start with the earlier posts. You re-open the discussion about topics which seemed already agreed on to me.

To my understanding currently the spell list for the arcane (mage) realm is under discussion. Since Nick is the game maintainer currently i think he must declare what route he wants to go and everyone else gives input on how to shape out this way.

Nick January 5, 2018 22:14

Quote:

Originally Posted by PowerWyrm (Post 127282)
- path 1: reorganize current spells in atomic realms (fire, ice, mana, divination, death, time, healing...), assign one or more realms to classes, one spellbook per spell (available in shops), one tome per realm containing all the spells for that realm (findable in the dungeon)

- path 2: trash current spells, create arcane/nature/holy/necromancy realms, rethink new spells for these realms, make one class per realm

The easier route is probably the first one, and that's the one which would make life easier for variants with many spellcasting realms (and many corresponding classes). The second choice would be more thematic and would open the road to new base classes, but would also require more thinking/balancing with the new realms/spells.

In terms of adding realms and re-arranging spells and books, both paths can be done almost entirely in data files. I have chosen path 2, you would have chosen path 1, and there are numerous other paths :)

More interesting is when some of the new realms require new effects or other game mechanics, which adds to the design space accessible from the data files. This has happened in a small way with the new mages (Dimension Door), and is coming in a bigger way with druids and especially necromancers; it's possible even with some hybrid classes (rogues and paladins, for example).

I am finding this thread very helpful in expanding and refining my ideas :)

Tibarius January 6, 2018 00:07

input from the maintainer requested
 
Nick, could you please comment the latest list.

a) 6 books, 30 spells => ok?
b) is it ok to leave banishment and mass banishment out?
=> if not, then i guess mass banishment replaces globe of protection in #6
and banishment replaces explosion in #5
c) the name for the mage hybrid class is not fixed yet it seems, while the others seem to be agreed on:
Warlock, Battlemage, other title? Warlock sounds pretty cool tho :)

Antoine January 6, 2018 01:02

> In terms of adding realms and re-arranging spells and books, both paths can be done almost entirely in data files.

Can you show here a snippet from one of these data files?

A.

kaypy January 6, 2018 03:07

If you have any recent V, you are looking at class.txt in the game data

eg, the first spell in the first book for the new mage

Code:

book:magic book:town:[Detection and Escape]:7:arcane
book-graphics:?:R
book-properties:25:40:1 to 100
equip:magic book:[Detection and Escape]:1:1

spell:Find Traps, Doors & Stairs:1:1:20:2
effect:DETECT_TRAPS
dice:22d40
effect:DETECT_DOORS
dice:22d40
effect:DETECT_STAIRS
dice:22d40
desc:Detects all traps, doors, and stairs in the immediate area.


Nick January 6, 2018 03:32

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tibarius (Post 127288)
a) 6 books, 30 spells => ok?

Not sure. Currently town books are readily available but can burn, whereas dungeon books are harder to find but indestructible; this has to be considered when deciding how many of each to have. I'd probably rather go with 5 books for the extra inventory slot. 30 spells is about right.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tibarius (Post 127288)
b) is it ok to leave banishment and mass banishment out?
=> if not, then i guess mass banishment replaces globe of protection in #6
and banishment replaces explosion in #5

I'm inclined to leave the banishment spells in for now, but make it so that they (and Destruction and Earthquake) don't affect vault squares.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tibarius (Post 127288)
c) the name for the mage hybrid class is not fixed yet it seems, while the others seem to be agreed on:
Warlock, Battlemage, other title? Warlock sounds pretty cool tho :)

At this point I'm not looking at a hybrid class for each pure spellcaster class, but rather at designing interesting class concepts and then deciding what magic they need. For example, I don't think there's an obvious halfway class to necromancer, but there are several possibilities which might dabble in death magic.

To the actual spells and order, it mostly looks OK to me; I'm going to keep adjusting what I have rather than adopting it as a whole, though. Some specifics:
  • probe and telepathy don't feel arcane to me, and I don't really want to give mages stone to mud either
  • fire ball I would probably want earlier as a crowd control measure; it can start off weak
  • shield and globe of protection are interesting ideas, but I suspect the second is too powerful
  • I'd rather have just one recharge spell, I think it can be set up so it scales well enough
  • resist cold and resist fire are pretty useless by themselves, I don't think they're worth spell slots
  • I still like some spells you've removed, like Disruption, Thrust Away, Door Creation

I will be trying to get an update out in the next couple of days.

Nick January 6, 2018 03:43

Quote:

Originally Posted by Antoine (Post 127290)
> In terms of adding realms and re-arranging spells and books, both paths can be done almost entirely in data files.

Can you show here a snippet from one of these data files?

A.

Further to what kaypy said, here's the whole first bit of the new mage class:
Code:

############### NEW MAGE ###############
name:New Mage
stats:-3:3:0:0:-2
skill-disarm-phys:30:10
skill-disarm-magic:35:12
skill-device:36:13
skill-save:30:9
skill-stealth:2:0
skill-search:10:12
skill-melee:34:15
skill-shoot:20:15
skill-throw:20:15
skill-dig:0:0
info:0:30
attack:4:40:2
equip:food:Ration of Food:1:3
equip:light:Wooden Torch:1:3
equip:sword:Dagger:1:1
equip:scroll:Word of Recall:1:1
flags:CUMBER_GLOVE | ZERO_FAIL | BEAM | CHOOSE_SPELLS
title:Novice
title:Apprentice
title:Trickster
title:Illusionist
title:Spellbinder
title:Evoker
title:Conjurer
title:Warlock
title:Sorcerer
title:Arch-Mage

magic:1:300:5

book:magic book:town:[Detection and Escape]:7:arcane
book-graphics:?:R
book-properties:25:40:1 to 100
equip:magic book:[Detection and Escape]:1:1

spell:Find Traps, Doors & Stairs:1:1:20:2
effect:DETECT_TRAPS
dice:22d40
effect:DETECT_DOORS
dice:22d40
effect:DETECT_STAIRS
dice:22d40
desc:Detects all traps, doors, and stairs in the immediate area.

Notice that the book lines create the entire definition of the book - it doesn't appear in object.txt at all any more, which is why the giving the player a copy at birth requires an equip: line after the book definition. The realms are defined in realm.txt:
Code:

name:arcane
stat:INT
verb:cast
spell-noun:spell
book-noun:magic book

and the only hard-coding required is a line in list-tvals.h:
Code:

TV(MAGIC_BOOK,        "magic book",        0)
and some other basically informational stuff which could probably come out to the data files with a bit of work.

kaypy January 6, 2018 06:24

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nick (Post 127293)
and the only hard-coding required is a line in list-tvals.h:
Code:

TV(MAGIC_BOOK,        "magic book",        0)
and some other basically informational stuff which could probably come out to the data files with a bit of work.

Is there any consequence of the TV of a book? Or, if someone was doing a minimal effort rejig of the magic system, is there any reason they would need to recompile, or could they just shoehorn books into the existing TVs?

There's the object memory categorization of course, but I don't offhand think there's much else affected... Am I missing anything?

Nick January 6, 2018 07:08

Quote:

Originally Posted by kaypy (Post 127294)
Is there any consequence of the TV of a book? Or, if someone was doing a minimal effort rejig of the magic system, is there any reason they would need to recompile, or could they just shoehorn books into the existing TVs?

There's the object memory categorization of course, but I don't offhand think there's much else affected... Am I missing anything?

It's pretty much just how they display in inventory, object memory and ignoring. I was actually thinking of putting a dummy tval TV_OTHER_BOOK, call it "strange book" or something, and have it display as "Book of Mystery"; that way adding new distinct realms would seem less hacky.

Tibarius January 6, 2018 09:52

good job
 
Just would like to mention that you do a good job Nick. You know, i play this game since ... three centuries now. And you keep it up to date and in form. I realy like the last changes from you. The direction is very good in my eyes.

Idea for birth options:
I think instead to have a birth option with a yes/no flag for connected stairs
it would be better to increase dungeon difficulty level by making un-connecting stairs more common the deeper you go. Almost always connected (1/10) till DL 30, 1/4 for unconnected stairs till DL 60, 1/2 chance for unconnected stairs deeper than DL 60

Tibarius January 6, 2018 09:55

announce update
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Nick (Post 127292)
I will be trying to get an update out in the next couple of days.

Please post a notice in this thread if an update is out. Thanks!

Antoine January 6, 2018 11:31

Thanks for posting the file

PowerWyrm January 6, 2018 13:11

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nick (Post 127292)
For example, I don't think there's an obvious halfway class to necromancer, but there are several possibilities which might dabble in death magic.

Rogue is pretty obvious no? Create Poison, Stinking Cloud, Invisibility...

Tibarius January 6, 2018 17:38

+1
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by PowerWyrm (Post 127301)
Rogue is pretty obvious no? Create Poison, Stinking Cloud, Invisibility...

I thought so too that rogue is basically a very 'natural' hybrid class for necromancer.

Ighalli January 6, 2018 18:02

Quote:

Originally Posted by PowerWyrm (Post 127301)
Rogue is pretty obvious no? Create Poison, Stinking Cloud, Invisibility...

I figured rogues would remain arcane and keep their tricksy ways of detection and escapes. Black knight, death knight or anti-paladin would seem a better death hybrid theme to me.


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