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-   -   Making devices useful (http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthread.php?t=4095)

Philip February 2, 2011 10:37

Making devices useful
 
There was talk in the susceptibilty thread about devices and how useless they are, and how O made them usable. IIRC pretty much every attack is weaker except devices and the rods of Glaurung's blood etc. are also nice. Furthermore there were artifact devices which were pretty awesome. I found Ilkorin once, not that I was smart enough to use it, but FA dumps mention the awesomeness of The staff of Winds and such. Monsters also have less HP, although only devices actually benefit from it, because of weak archery, O combat, spells in O. So the question is, what to do with devices. Currently they are detection for characters without the spell(detect treasure comes to mind). Even something as simple as Rod of Magic Mapping is enough. AFAIK Rod of Magic Mapping is from O. One question for all of you: How do variants deal with this apart from O-derived ones? Please leave your comments and ideas here.

Derakon February 2, 2011 15:22

Offensive devices are plenty useful in Vanilla, but only in a fairly narrow range. They're "free" can't-miss damage that, with wands, you can send out quite quickly; when you're done you can simply toss the wand and find another. Some of the wands might not show up early enough to get much use (c.f. firebolts, acid bolts, and any elemental ball), but otherwise if you don't use them ever you're probably making a mistake.

Rods are a different story; the only attack rod that gets much use is Light since it has the trifecta of good attack range, good damage (against enemies vulnerable to light, natch), and good recharge time. Otherwise the rods all show up too late and take too long to recharge to really be worth stockpiling. I'm not certain how to balance them, though; if they showed up earlier and recharged faster they'd be too good. Maybe keep the recharge time high but increase the damage? Then they'd be occasional nukes instead of offensive mainstays.

Philip February 2, 2011 18:30

I don't know how O solved the rods, but I know that they are probably usefull because you have to be very creative about killing monsters and rods and wands make a nice attack thingy. Adding stronger rods would probably help, also turning mages into guys with lots of rods and wands with some utility spells and such by making them get bonuses with them, artifact wands, rods and staffs. How about a bonus for damage scaling with INT along with a few bonuses for the mage. "You feel a surge of power in the wand. The xxxx dies." would be a x2 multiplier or so. Currently the usefull rods are teleother, detection rods of most sorts, speed and healing. Staves are teleport, banish, destruct, speed, healing. Wands are teleother and that's pretty much it. How do we deal with this?

Derakon February 2, 2011 19:04

Mages already get damage bonuses from wands/rods. You just don't notice because you either never use the items in question, or don't compare the damage you get when playing as a different class. Mages definitely benefit from carrying around attack wands; casting Recharging gets you many more attacks than just casting attack spells directly does, and can be done when not in combat.

Therem Harth February 2, 2011 19:09

Hmm. I was thinking of proposing rods with multiple charges and longer recharge times, but I'm not sure that's so smart.

For some reason I do like the idea of making mages more gizmo-dependent. What about priests though? ATM, high-level priests in V seem much more powerful than anyone else, what with the healing spells, blasts of holy fire, dispel evil, heroism, good melee proficiency, and more healing spells. Especially in 3.2 where everyone gets fractional blows.

Philip February 2, 2011 19:34

Mages gizmo-dependent would be nice, and priests need to be balanced somehow, but I am not sure how. Priest seems to be *EASIER* than Ranger just because 0 fail heal and *heal* for cheap allow you just to chip at Morgy while healing.

Magnate February 2, 2011 19:44

Quote:

Originally Posted by Philip (Post 48010)
I don't know how O solved the rods, but I know that they are probably usefull because you have to be very creative about killing monsters and rods and wands make a nice attack thingy. Adding stronger rods would probably help, also turning mages into guys with lots of rods and wands with some utility spells and such by making them get bonuses with them, artifact wands, rods and staffs. How about a bonus for damage scaling with INT along with a few bonuses for the mage. "You feel a surge of power in the wand. The xxxx dies." would be a x2 multiplier or so. Currently the usefull rods are teleother, detection rods of most sorts, speed and healing. Staves are teleport, banish, destruct, speed, healing. Wands are teleother and that's pretty much it. How do we deal with this?

We already have a bonus to device damage from high device skill, but we don't yet have critical hits with devices. This alone would increase their utility, but I agree with Derakon that rods in particular are generally too deep to be routinely useful. The thing about them being deep is that they sometimes show up OOD, which is exciting - this I think we should keep. So I find myself agreeing with Derakon yet again - increasing the damage would retain the validity of their depth while making them more competitive for those precious inv slots.

I also think we should think about recharge times: not decreasing them across the board, but certainly in some cases (e.g. rod of lightning bolts - keep the damage low and lower the recharge time so a stack is a potential machine gun). We could also look at allowing certain classes to have reduced recharge times as they level up (or maybe make this a racial ability, or even a pval flag).

Derakon February 2, 2011 19:47

Priests are largely balanced by their terrible damage output. Orb of Draining is very consistent, but not very much damage, and they're lousy at both melee and ranged combat unless they get some very nice gear. So yes they're able to hang around in combat much longer than other classes, but they also are required to hang around in combat longer just to kill things.

Atarlost February 2, 2011 19:55

I don't really think the fix should be mage specific. The reason I brought it up in the susceptabilities thread is that as currently coded susceptabilities do not boost brands -- and I think they should not unless branded ammo is removed, though I didn't say as much at the time. Rods being useful would give other classes, especially warriors who have no recharging spells to use with wands, the ability to hit those susceptabilities. For this making them occasional nukes would be better. Possibly quiver-izing them so carrying a rod each of fire, frost, acid, and lightning balls is not penalized over carrying 99 rods of just fire balls. Maybe make the quiver selectable to projectiles or devices only at any given time.

Derakon February 2, 2011 20:07

Having susceptibilities be only for spell attacks makes zero sense. How is the heat from a firebolt different from the heat from a burning sword? How is a flying blob of acid different from a warhammer that drips acid? They're the same type of damage, so susceptibilities should apply in both cases. To do otherwise is to introduce a huge discrepancy that will confuse every player.


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