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-   -   Sil-Q 1.4.2 release (http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthread.php?t=9414)

Quirk May 5, 2019 22:22

Sil-Q 1.4.2 release
 
It's been a while in coming, but it's finally arrived.

A number of changes have been made to better align with feedback made by Scatha, and many skills and items have undergone an overhaul. The Song tree in particular has been reimagined, but there are a number of changes to Archery and Melee also.

Get it here:
https://github.com/sil-quirk/sil-q/releases/tag/v1.4.2

Thanks to Hugo, wobbly, Marty and others for testing this while it was in development, to Gwarl for his tireless work on angband.live, and zenkalia for some last minute typo fixes.

Destragon May 8, 2019 02:59

Nice work, the song changes seem fun and smite sounds like it could be interesting.
I haven't tried it in 1.4.2 yet, but I just finished my first proper archery run in 1.4.1 (I was essentially insta killed by a dragon on 800ft because I had no will to resist his entrancement) and I could see why you would want to nerf it. I didn't really have any problem mowing down enemies until that one. In my run, I think the Deadly Hail ability was the strongest part of the kit. Rout would help make killing fleeing enemies a cakewalk and then I'd use that kill to deal massive damage to the next enemy and so on. I remember getting 8d8 damage rolls, but that would probably be reduced to 8d7 now with the longbow nerf. Although, now we can also have the new Ambush skill to get another damage die against unwary enemies.
If you really want to nerf archery, maybe you could consider making Deadly Hail a song instead? Or split some part of the kit into the perception tree, like Crippling Shot (keeping the prereqs, maybe also giving it an alternate prereq to make it possibly apply to melee), but I'm not sure right now if that wouldn't actually make it cheaper to get instead of more expensive.

Does the Versatility ability make sense in the archery tree? Almost all the abilities in the archery tree seem very attractive right now, meaning that I'd get at least 5 of them and getting Versatility at that point would cost 3k xp. If I just took that amount of xp and put it into melee instead, I could get it up to 7. I guess maybe it could be useful for very late game archers, but I think it would probably make more sense to have it in a different skill tree, maybe in melee? (Of course doing this wouldn't exactly make archers weaker though.)

There is still some weirdness in the tutorial. It tells you that it gave you access to the Song of Slaying and Song of Trees even though the actual songs you get currently are Song of Challenge and Song of Silence.
And it also kinda tells you to use the song of slaying to kill the wolves, despite that song not existing anymore.

The tutorial telling you to use Song of Slaying against the wolves made me realise that there wasn't really any song to help with damage dealing after its removal. We do have Song of Whetting now, but that looks more like a late game thing and only for low-weight, critical melee characters. Should there be another song that helps melee characters take out swarms of enemies like the wolves in the tutorial (some sort of AoE effect like whirlwind attack?) or should the tutorial just give Song of Staying to the player instead?
By the way, why is it possible to get Song of Whetting with just 4 points of song? Are there even any weapons that weigh 0.5lb?

Edit:
Just noticed that Elves are still displayed as having +1 to archery in the character screen as if they had archery affinity instead of bow proficiency, but I guess that's just a minor graphical issue that doesn't really matter because bows are the only ranged weapons and the bonus doesn't seem to apply double like I expected at first.

I thought the drop rate of arrows was reduced, but I just found over 350 arrows on the first two floors of the dungeon. Does the early dungeon just have a high arrow drop rate?

Quirk May 8, 2019 14:28

Quote:

Originally Posted by Destragon (Post 138289)
In my run, I think the Deadly Hail ability was the strongest part of the kit. Rout would help make killing fleeing enemies a cakewalk and then I'd use that kill to deal massive damage to the next enemy and so on. I remember getting 8d8 damage rolls, but that would probably be reduced to 8d7 now with the longbow nerf. Although, now we can also have the new Ambush skill to get another damage die against unwary enemies.

Good, I'm glad to hear that. Deadly Hail does a lot of damage but it does require some positioning and setup and is harder to make work when ambushed by dangerous enemies. Flaming Arrows, the old Sil skill, did an extra damage die on every shot. It was flavourful but a tiny bit broken.

With the halved Evasion though it is hard to give Archery almost any meaningful tools at all, it is a bit overpowered by default. Hopefully reduced damage sides should counter it a little.

Quote:

Does the Versatility ability make sense in the archery tree?
Good question. I tend to avoid it but I see some very experienced players who take it, so I assume it's still good enough. Will keep an eye on archers in 1.4.2 though.

Quote:

There is still some weirdness in the tutorial. It tells you that it gave you access to the Song of Slaying and Song of Trees even though the actual songs you get currently are Song of Challenge and Song of Silence.
And it also kinda tells you to use the song of slaying to kill the wolves, despite that song not existing anymore.
That is a fantastic catch and one I had completely missed. Thanks for spotting that.

I'll update to make it a bit saner.

Quote:

The tutorial telling you to use Song of Slaying against the wolves made me realise that there wasn't really any song to help with damage dealing after its removal. We do have Song of Whetting now, but that looks more like a late game thing and only for low-weight, critical melee characters. Should there be another song that helps melee characters take out swarms of enemies like the wolves in the tutorial (some sort of AoE effect like whirlwind attack?) or should the tutorial just give Song of Staying to the player instead?
I'd probably go with Staunching over Staying for early game but I might teach different songs entirely.

Quote:

By the way, why is it possible to get Song of Whetting with just 4 points of song? Are there even any weapons that weigh 0.5lb?
Daggers.

Quote:

Edit:
Just noticed that Elves are still displayed as having +1 to archery in the character screen as if they had archery affinity instead of bow proficiency
That's how bow proficiency works. If you had blade proficiency and wielded a sword you would see +1 to Melee.

Quote:

I thought the drop rate of arrows was reduced, but I just found over 350 arrows on the first two floors of the dungeon. Does the early dungeon just have a high arrow drop rate?
Slightly lucky, but I do try to load the player up with more arrows early on as playing an archer without ammo is miserable. If you're profligate and run out later that's more on you.

wobbly May 8, 2019 16:49

I'd say versatility lost some kick when song of slaying disappeared. You used to be able to still slam the throne room that way on an archer. Haven't tried it recently but I'd say it still has some juice if you ever need to herb of rage yourself out of a situation. It has always been a weak ability but useful for various niche builds.

Destragon May 8, 2019 20:06

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quirk (Post 138298)
That's how bow proficiency works. If you had blade proficiency and wielded a sword you would see +1 to Melee.

The weird thing though is that the +1 is displayed even when you're not carrying a bow. Even during the character creation screen.

Wait, does that mean that when a dwarf carries an axe as main weapon (or an elf a sword in the old versions), that they are suddenly slightly more accurate at throwing stuff because they got a general +1 to their melee skill for holding an axe (or sword)?

This also makes me think that maybe affinities/masteries should be highlighted in the character screen? Maybe they should be in yellow or something.

Quote:

Originally Posted by wobbly (Post 138299)
I'd say versatility lost some kick when song of slaying disappeared. You used to be able to still slam the throne room that way on an archer. Haven't tried it recently but I'd say it still has some juice if you ever need to herb of rage yourself out of a situation. It has always been a weak ability but useful for various niche builds.

I think the question is just if you really get anything out of it compared to just dumping the xp straight into the melee skill. I haven't yet won a game as an archer (or as any other kind of character), but in my 800ft run Versatility would have been a net loss in xp, unless I'm missing something here. I guess you should just not take that many archery abilities if you want to go for Versatility? They are all so good looking though.
Maybe it should work on your total archery value instead of just the archery skill points? (This isn't how it already works, right?)
Maybe it should be a prerequisite for a new ability that gives you a bonus for alternating between melee and ranged attacks or something like that? Something to encourage this half-melee, half-ranged playstyle. Maybe not a good idea because that build would be locked out of all melee abilities (because otherwise Versatility would have been a waste).

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quirk (Post 138298)
Slightly lucky, but I do try to load the player up with more arrows early on as playing an archer without ammo is miserable. If you're profligate and run out later that's more on you.

Have you considered making it so that a player who starts out with X amount of archery skill, or more archery skill than melee skill, automatically starts off with a crappy bow (slightly worse than a short bow I suppose) and a handfull arrows? Their curved sword should probably be replaced with a dagger in that case then though.
This might reduce the need to spam arrow drops on the first floors and gets rid of that awkward beginning where an archer has to fight with a terrible melee attack until they can find a short bow lying around.

Quirk May 9, 2019 00:56

Quote:

Originally Posted by Destragon (Post 138305)
The weird thing though is that the +1 is displayed even when you're not carrying a bow. Even during the character creation screen.

That looks like a bug, and on inspection, yes, while axes and swords check you're carrying them to give you the bonus, it appears the bow bonus appears on archery whether you have a bow equipped or not. Of course as you can only equip bows in the bow slot it's a bit of a cosmetic bug. I'll try to get it fixed for the next release.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Destragon (Post 138305)
Wait, does that mean that when a dwarf carries an axe as main weapon (or an elf a sword in the old versions), that they are suddenly slightly more accurate at throwing stuff because they got a general +1 to their melee skill for holding an axe (or sword)?

Hmm, you made me curious enough to check. The short answer is yes. The more intriguing thing is that it appears that throwing a weapon you are holding has always counted its bonus (with proficiency) twice. In Sil 1.3 with an elf with sword proficiency, when you throw daggers you gain +2 to accuracy - double the +1 blade bonus. There is also of course a -5 for throwing a non-throwing weapons.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Destragon (Post 138305)
This also makes me think that maybe affinities/masteries should be highlighted in the character screen? Maybe they should be in yellow or something.

Maybe. They're quite low-key effect-wise compared to many other things and I think it would take quite a bit of screen real estate to make it apparent what was going on.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Destragon (Post 138305)
I think the question is just if you really get anything out of it compared to just dumping the xp straight into the melee skill. I haven't yet won a game as an archer (or as any other kind of character), but in my 800ft run Versatility would have been a net loss in xp, unless I'm missing something here. I guess you should just not take that many archery abilities if you want to go for Versatility? They are all so good looking though.

Well, if you have 20 points in Archery and nothing in Melee, it would cost you 5500 XP to raise your Melee by 10 by buying points, and maybe 3K from buying Versatility. If you're spending all your XP on Archery abilities instead of Archery skill and have quite low Archery skill the calculation may be different.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Destragon (Post 138305)
Something to encourage this half-melee, half-ranged playstyle. Maybe not a good idea because that build would be locked out of all melee abilities (because otherwise Versatility would have been a waste).

I don't particularly want to encourage that playstyle. Archery is useful for most melee characters as is. Having Versatility and Point Blank both seems a bit much, but it's been like that since forever, some people use one, some use the other, some use both. On top of that, adding useful but non-broken archery skills is hard, so...

Quote:

Originally Posted by Destragon (Post 138305)
Have you considered making it so that a player who starts out with X amount of archery skill, or more archery skill than melee skill, automatically starts off with a crappy bow (slightly worse than a short bow I suppose) and a handfull arrows? Their curved sword should probably be replaced with a dagger in that case then though.

I've actually considered this for elves in general and Sindar Falathrim in particular. I would prefer starting gear that suggested a traveller arriving in Angband with intent. Elves would maybe get a short sword, Falathrim a dagger and more arrows. This is weaker for melee characters than starting with a curved sword though, and I'm a bit nervous about making the early game overly difficult again having toned things down from the relative brutality of 1.3.

HugoTheGreat2011 May 9, 2019 02:10

Is Sil-Q on angband.live already upated to 1.4.2 official i.e. the one with the last typo fixes and etc? I coudn't tell because the games list says "1.4.2 Alpha". Reason for asking is that I play to check for various bugs (once I know it is the real 1.4.2 official).

Quirk May 9, 2019 07:27

Quote:

Originally Posted by HugoTheGreat2011 (Post 138314)
Is Sil-Q on angband.live already upated to 1.4.2 official i.e. the one with the last typo fixes and etc? I coudn't tell because the games list says "1.4.2 Alpha". Reason for asking is that I play to check for various bugs (once I know it is the real 1.4.2 official).

It is. I should probably rename it.

Infinitum May 9, 2019 22:00

Nice! Haven't played around yet, but dabbled a bit reading through the abilities. How do Accurate weapons work mechanically? Smite looks neat, but might make 2-handers outperform light weapons for sneak attacks?

Also noticed Mithril Greatwords being 3d6 by default with no corresponding increase in smithing cost? A 5500 xp investment (8 skillpoints, Weaponsmith, Artifice + Masterpiece by way of artifact hammer) now buys any character a (-2,3d6)[+1] sword at 3-5lb, which might honestly be worth it even if one chanced upon one of the sharp artefacts.

Skimmed the prerequisite changes in song, but the existence of Quick Learner makes them kind of moot anyhow. It's already a bargain for melee characters what with it allowing one to skip some less useful prerequisites (Hardiness for Poison/Critical Resistance, Assassination for Opportunist, the aforementioned leapfrogging of the Smiithing tree etc).

Quirk May 9, 2019 22:27

Quote:

Originally Posted by Infinitum (Post 138328)
Nice! Haven't played around yet, but dabbled a bit reading through the abilities. How do Accurate weapons work mechanically?

You get to reroll your Melee roll when you miss an attack.

Quote:

Smite looks neat, but might make 2-handers outperform light weapons for sneak attacks?
Subtlety stabbers tend to be fragile in stand up fights. Your enemies moving twice when you strike I think makes staying alive if your target survives rather more perilous.

Quote:

Also noticed Mithril Greatwords being 3d6 by default with no corresponding increase in smithing cost?
Yup. They needed to offer something that offset the lack of versatility compared to bastard swords and lack of Strength scaling compared to normal greatswords. They already cost mithril to smith, which is in limited supply.

Quote:

A 5500 xp investment (8 skillpoints, Weaponsmith, Artifice + Masterpiece by way of artifact hammer) now buys any character a (-2,3d6)[+1] sword at 3-5lb, which might honestly be worth it even if one chanced upon one of the sharp artefacts.
I am a little confused by this if we're still talking mithril greatswords. A much smaller investment will get you a 3d4 bastard sword with the same 3d6 stats and the ability to be used with a shield, and I don't think I understand the need for so much smithing. You would be sad to use it as an endgame weapon.

You're not thinking that a mithril greatsword gains 2 more sides for being used 2 handed are you? 2 handed weapons have the advertised number of damage sides baked in and have as long as I've played Sil.

Edit: if you mean you can smith a 3d8 mithril greatsword for 17 smithing - yes, sure. 17 smithing could also alternatively get you a fire-branded 3d6 one. You could have a 3d6 battle-axe (so actually 3d8) for 16 smithing and save on mithril. 17 Smithing plus mithril will get you a decent weapon.

Infinitum May 10, 2019 00:32

Oops. *Sharp Mithril Greatsword, naturally. 22 difficulty to smith w/Danger, 23 if you want to fiddle with the weight.

Quirk May 10, 2019 01:52

Quote:

Originally Posted by Infinitum (Post 138331)
Oops. *Sharp Mithril Greatsword, naturally. 22 difficulty to smith w/Danger, 23 if you want to fiddle with the weight.

So by any character you mean any character with 6 Grace?

Reaching 22 takes 8 Smithing skill, 8 Masterpiece and 6 Grace.
9 Smithing lets you do it with 4 Grace, but that's another 900 XP.

Wiwaxia May 10, 2019 03:35

First, thank you again for taking out the gender field. That means a lot.

I haven't had a chance to try out the archery abilities yet, but they look fun. Puncture looks like a very nice "fuck serpents" skill. I wonder if you could chew through a grotesque with it in a pinch.

I also like all the new special bows. I remember you talking about how hard it is to find interesting and not-broken things to put on bows, and think you did a good job with that here. It's not clear from the description exactly what Falmari does, but I look forward to finding or making one and finding out. Bows of the Falas actually help substitute for flaming arrows in an odd way, since one of the reasons I took it on non-archers was to deal with ringraukar, Gilim, and sapphire serpents.

If ancient sapphire serpents are really giving you trouble, you can now get a whopping 5 levels of cold resistance without artefacts (quarterstaff of the helcaraxe, bow of the falas, two rings, and a cloak of warmth). Probably still better to just avoid them.

Destragon May 10, 2019 20:32

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quirk (Post 138313)
I've actually considered this for elves in general and Sindar Falathrim in particular. I would prefer starting gear that suggested a traveller arriving in Angband with intent. Elves would maybe get a short sword, Falathrim a dagger and more arrows. This is weaker for melee characters than starting with a curved sword though, and I'm a bit nervous about making the early game overly difficult again having toned things down from the relative brutality of 1.3.

I think the different races/ houses starting with different equipment could add some nice flavor to the game, but for the question of starting with a melee or a ranged weapon I think it would be better to have it linked to the starting skill values instead, as I think they give a better indication for the individual backstory of the character and the desired playstyle of the player.

Actually, now that I think about it, why don't you just give a separate option during character creation, outside the race/house selection, that lets the player choose their starting loadout/background?
I came up with 4 different starting loadouts just now:
  • Melee: Starts with a curved sword like normal right now.
  • Ranged: Starts with a crappy bow, a handful arrows and maybe a dagger.
  • Pacifist: Starts with no weapon at all, but with a harp or lute, if those get added to the game, and maybe a cape or robe.
  • Deprived: Starts off with absolutely nothing. (Maybe with a bit of food.) This is a higher difficulty challenge run. I got the name from Dark Souls, which also had an option like this. I saw that some people really like starting off with nothing. This would make those people happy without making the game's difficulty explode for newbies.
You think Edain have it difficult? Try naked Edain.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wiwaxia (Post 138337)
If ancient sapphire serpents are really giving you trouble, you can now get a whopping 5 levels of cold resistance without artefacts (quarterstaff of the helcaraxe, bow of the falas, two rings, and a cloak of warmth). Probably still better to just avoid them.

Woah, didn't even occur to me that you can have more than 3 levels of elemental resistance.

Quirk May 10, 2019 22:06

Quote:

Originally Posted by Destragon (Post 138351)
I think the different races/ houses starting with different equipment could add some nice flavor to the game, but for the question of starting with a melee or a ranged weapon I think it would be better to have it linked to the starting skill values instead, as I think they give a better indication for the individual backstory of the character and the desired playstyle of the player.

Well, personally speaking, I often start without assigning any points at all, and decide what I need as I go, so that's not a solution that works for me.

With regard to choosing starting loadouts, there's not a lot of sense in dwarves having a bow option, and pacifists are relatively unpopular choices. Starting with nothing at all isn't very serious unless you're unlucky with weapon drops on 50' so I'm not sure how much challenge it really adds.

Which is not to say the idea is to be dismissed out of hand. Different loadouts might be appropriate. I am thinking of things like a traveller with cloak and staff, a warrior with helm, sword and broken shield... I'd have to think about it.

Destragon May 10, 2019 23:36

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quirk (Post 138352)
Well, personally speaking, I often start without assigning any points at all, and decide what I need as I go, so that's not a solution that works for me.

To be honest, I think it would probably be alright if there is a downside to that strategy. I'm still newb, but the way you can just save up your xp right until the point where you know exactly what you're gonna need and then be able to spend it all in one turn is pretty powerful, I think. Aspects of strategy games also include things like having to do preplanning, being attached to your choices, investing for the future, etc.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quirk (Post 138352)
With regard to choosing starting loadouts, there's not a lot of sense in dwarves having a bow option, and pacifists are relatively unpopular choices. Starting with nothing at all isn't very serious unless you're unlucky with weapon drops on 50' so I'm not sure how much challenge it really adds.

Sure, dwarves might have a xp malus to using archery, but that doesn't mean they are completely incapable of using it.
And I know pacifism isn't exactly popular, but maybe it would become less of an unpopular choice once there is a starting option that actually suggests it to the player as a challenge/ playstyle. Having that option start with a harp, cape or whatever bonus item would make it more appealing and probably more viable.
The "Deprived" start could also start with no torches and no food, if that makes it sound more of a challenge.

Yeah, about the weapon drops, I think if the game had this loadout/background selection in the character creation, then the equipment item drops on the first dungeon floors would/could probably be tweaked around a bit to be more rare. This sounds like a bit of a bigger change though, so I dunno.
For example, if an archer start existed, then the amount of early arrow drops could be dialed down, but this would maybe be bad for people who want to play some sort of mixed character.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quirk (Post 138352)
Which is not to say the idea is to be dismissed out of hand. Different loadouts might be appropriate. I am thinking of things like a traveller with cloak and staff, a warrior with helm, sword and broken shield... I'd have to think about it.

Yeah, that's pretty much what I meant. A slight bit of backstory flavor and some basic starting gear. I think DCSS actually has a similar system, where after choosing your race, you get to choose a character class, which basically just decides your starting gear (and I think some of your starting skill values).

In my last game as archer, I started with most of my skill invested in archery and none in melee, but then it took like 3 floors or so until I actually found a bow. I guess maybe this is just something you have to learn as a new player, that you can't really just start as an archer immediately, but maaaaybe it would be better if you could just start with a (crappy) bow instead.

Infinitum May 17, 2019 23:11

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quirk
With regard to choosing starting loadouts, there's not a lot of sense in dwarves having a bow option

Well, the Dwarfes of Tolkien seems prett pragmatic compared with the axes-or-bust stereotyoe that spawned from Gimli. Maybe change the Archery penalty to a bow.. un-proficiency to keep in line with the Elf affinity changes? Having a third choice for background after choosing race/house sounds neat.

Maybe even swap the dexterity penalty for a stealth malus; Dwarfes naturally being worse fighters than Edain is a tad weird. Dislike the Sindar strength malus for the same reason. Both could lose a point of constitution to compensate perhaps?

Oh, and came across a minor display bug; known ego items pulled from skeletons still show up as (special) in the log (and then show up properly id'd in the inventory window).

debo October 20, 2019 01:27

So, I took Smite for the first time and it's FUN!

UX Question: Would you consider adding a command key to turn it on and off? I know that macros exist, but this ability really feels different than almost every other one in that there is very high risk to having it on.

Flaming arrows was arguably like this in vanilla Sil and the repercussion was much lower (losing arrows.)

I also think it's worth having a light on for it in the bottom bar ('Smite') just so I remember if I have it on or off.

Gameplay question: If I have whirlwind attack and I attack an enemy for the first time, will the surrounding enemies hit by my whirlwind attack also be smitten? (Smote?) The wording of Smite suggests that this is so, and I'm thinking it might be a fun gamble build (kill'em all in one swing or die trying.) Will I lose N turns if I smite N enemies with the whirlwind? :O

Quirk October 21, 2019 15:03

Quote:

Originally Posted by debo (Post 140596)
So, I took Smite for the first time and it's FUN!

UX Question: Would you consider adding a command key to turn it on and off? I know that macros exist, but this ability really feels different than almost every other one in that there is very high risk to having it on.

Flaming arrows was arguably like this in vanilla Sil and the repercussion was much lower (losing arrows.)

I also think it's worth having a light on for it in the bottom bar ('Smite') just so I remember if I have it on or off.

Gameplay question: If I have whirlwind attack and I attack an enemy for the first time, will the surrounding enemies hit by my whirlwind attack also be smitten? (Smote?) The wording of Smite suggests that this is so, and I'm thinking it might be a fun gamble build (kill'em all in one swing or die trying.) Will I lose N turns if I smite N enemies with the whirlwind? :O

You only lose one turn if you Impale or Whirlwind, but you will do full damage across the entire swing.

I am open to considering a Smite toggle key, though the ability description is pretty lengthy as is so I might need to think about how that would work.

It might be easier when considering the "downside" to think of Smite as delivering the damage you'd deliver in two turns up front. It's not precisely the same, as the maximum is not quite double the average (average usually comes out ahead over two swings by the number of dice), but hitting only once means only one enemy armour roll. For a Flanking build where you want to reposition every turn it's not ideal, but it's less problematic elsewhere.

DavidMedley October 31, 2019 21:07

Tutorial
 
I was also going to comment on the tutorial, but others have beaten me to it :D

Quirk October 31, 2019 22:00

Quote:

Originally Posted by DavidMedley (Post 140946)
I was also going to comment on the tutorial, but others have beaten me to it :D

There is actually a fix in the (unreleased) latest commits on Github, but that requires compiling code yourself, which I appreciate is unreasonable for many people.

HugoTheGreat2011 November 18, 2019 01:31

I noticed this recently while playing Sil-Q 1.4..2 (on angband.live):

Staves of Shadows do not blind player. Should they blind the player? In FCPB, the Staves of Darkness do.

Quirk November 18, 2019 14:10

Quote:

Originally Posted by HugoTheGreat2011 (Post 141284)
I noticed this recently while playing Sil-Q 1.4..2 (on angband.live):

Staves of Shadows do not blind player. Should they blind the player? In FCPB, the Staves of Darkness do.

I don't see any particular reason for them to do so; they're not linked in any way to the FCPB implementation. Assuming that they're useful to some denizen of Angband who wishes to create darkness (perhaps a Balrog), they'd probably be a lot less useful if they blinded the user.

DavidMedley December 2, 2019 13:59

Rout Discrepancy
 
In the 1.4.2 distribution I got, the manual says:
Attacks on fleeing enemies are calculated as if you had 3 more points of
Dexterity.

In-game it says:
Firing at fleeing monsters is calculated as if you had 5 more points of Dexterity.

Brief test indicates the game text is correct, and melee and thrown weapons do not benefit. Is that right?

DavidMedley December 2, 2019 14:31

Love the Game!
 
Really liking Sil-Q, BTW. I wouldn't be in here posting about it if I didn't! Still, wanted to say I like Sil and I like the Q branch. Will likely be asking a few questions in the near future. Maybe I'll throw in a few commits, too.

Quirk December 2, 2019 14:52

Quote:

Originally Posted by DavidMedley (Post 141527)
In the 1.4.2 distribution I got, the manual says:
Attacks on fleeing enemies are calculated as if you had 3 more points of
Dexterity.

In-game it says:
Firing at fleeing monsters is calculated as if you had 5 more points of Dexterity.

Brief test indicates the game text is correct, and melee and thrown weapons do not benefit. Is that right?

Looks like the manual has missed an update. I'll stick it on my to do list. Rout was buffed a bit for the 1.4.2 release when the archery changes were made and elves lost the free archery skill.

DavidMedley December 2, 2019 14:57

Forewarned
 
The Forewarned ability states:
If your base Perception exceeds your Evasion, you gain a bonus to your Evasion of one-third your Perception score.

It's not entirely clear what a "base Perception" is. For quite a while I thought it was skill points plus your base stat, but now I'm convinced it's just skill points.

Versatility reads:
If you have more skill points in archery than in melee, you gain a bonus to melee of half the difference between the two scores (rounding down).

I think this wording is clearer.

Here's what I really wanted to ask: Why did you reject the existing half-the-difference model already in use in favor of the 1/3rd skill formula? The latter seems much more powerful, despite the larger divisor, because you're not handcuffed against increasing the lower skill. But I like the smooth benefit curve of the former. Both have merit.

Quirk December 2, 2019 17:59

Quote:

Originally Posted by DavidMedley (Post 141531)
The Forewarned ability states:
If your base Perception exceeds your Evasion, you gain a bonus to your Evasion of one-third your Perception score.

It's not entirely clear what a "base Perception" is. For quite a while I thought it was skill points plus your base stat, but now I'm convinced it's just skill points.

Versatility reads:
If you have more skill points in archery than in melee, you gain a bonus to melee of half the difference between the two scores (rounding down).

I think this wording is clearer.

Here's what I really wanted to ask: Why did you reject the existing half-the-difference model already in use in favor of the 1/3rd skill formula? The latter seems much more powerful, despite the larger divisor, because you're not handcuffed against increasing the lower skill. But I like the smooth benefit curve of the former. Both have merit.

Good question, and worth an explanation.

Forewarned was designed as an ability to complement the many Perception abilities which scale with more Perception: Concentration, Focused Attack, Master Hunter, and as a reason to invest more heavily in the Perception tree after the difficulty of spotting traps was scaled down from Sil (where it had been in several instances actually bugged).

Using the former calculation was not remotely viable, power-wise. Versatility is somewhat niche, even though a pure Archery build with no Melee is possible - it's there mostly as a tool to handle no-crit enemies or to conserve ammo. Having Perception far exceed Evasion is really unlikely unless you're a Stealth build; but a Stealth build taking Keen Senses, Listen, probably Alchemy, maybe Focused Attack doesn't have room for Evasion it hopes never to have to use.

So, Forewarned had to give a bigger bonus and work for builds that wanted enough Evasion to hold their own in a fight. Finding an elegant way for it to give a bonus that's neither trivial or entirely broken has been difficult and the current solution is not entirely elegant.

The condition is that you have invested slightly more into Perception than Evasion. The payoff is initially substantial. At the point you get Forewarned, you're probably getting 3, maybe 4 Evasion for it; raising an Evasion of 6 to 9 or 10 by investing XP is worth 2400 or 3300 XP. This is a pretty good bargain if you were already picking up other Perception abilities, but the consequence is that if you want to keep your Forewarned bonus you need to keep spending on both Perception and Evasion - your immediate future is easier but your longer term strategy less so. If you have other abilities that benefit from Perception you may get enough value from the Perception investment in the long term anyway.

The ugly thing is that once your Evasion investment exceeds your Perception investment, you take a sudden drop in Evasion overall. Scatha commented on it in his review, and it's on my list for reworking at some point because of this. It could be even uglier if the bonus condition went not off your investment but your equipment, or stats. Removing the ugliness by having it always contribute some flat percentage of Perception as Evasion (e.g. 25%) would be a bit dull and do relatively little to encourage buying more Perception.

In terms of power level it is managing to find some buyers and helping Master Hunter out a bit.

It's possible several things in the Perception tree need reworked, as the scaling motif is even less successful than it is with Song, and the base skill itself is probably the single least useful skill. Perhaps at some point I'll get a brainwave that makes it more viable.

HugoTheGreat2011 December 3, 2019 07:41

I noticed these two things in Sil-Q 1.4.2 (also probably present in older Sil-Q or in Sil-Vanilla or older):

1) Spider hatchlings and maybe the Brood Spider cna be poisoned by a Dagger (Poisoned)

2) When Mountain Trolls knock-away players with zero damage inflicted. If player not knocked-away, damage occurs right. But if batter + knock-away, then there is no damage.

I don't know if these are intended or even bugs. But, I took notice of these

Pete Mack December 4, 2019 13:25

Feature request:
When you have an un-Ided weapon with a slay on it, make a message that says 'your short sword {special} glows if a suitable monster is near by, even if the weapon is 'in your pack'. The nonsense of dropping it on the floor to check is just unnecessary tedium. (Possibly have the message even if the weapon is ided.)

wobbly December 4, 2019 14:07

Are you playing with subwindows? It'll glow in the subwindow, but not in the inventory menu. A bit of a pain really.

DavidMedley December 16, 2019 12:29

Throwing Mastery
 
Not sure where to post this question. One section of the manual describes "trap" skills in Sil. Careful Shot and Mind Over Body I get. But why say "Throwing Mastery offers an inferior ranged option"? Seems useful enough, but maybe the problem is it drives up the cost of other Melee skills which would be even more useful? Or is it that thrown weapons' range is too limited?

Quirk December 16, 2019 16:18

Quote:

Originally Posted by DavidMedley (Post 141784)
Not sure where to post this question. One section of the manual describes "trap" skills in Sil. Careful Shot and Mind Over Body I get. But why say "Throwing Mastery offers an inferior ranged option"? Seems useful enough, but maybe the problem is it drives up the cost of other Melee skills which would be even more useful? Or is it that thrown weapons' range is too limited?

Throwing Mastery was actually the "worst" skill in Sil 1.3.0, according to http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthread.php?t=8157. Why is it so bad compared to Archery?

Firstly, Archery rolls against one-half your opponent's Evasion, throwing weapons rolls Melee against full Evasion. Archers hit more and score more criticals, so in the late game arrows do much more damage.

Secondly, daggers and throwing axes are fairly miserable damage wise, and the criticals they do get are worse than bows.

Thirdly, spears have miserable range: you need to reach 7 strength to pass the range of a shortbow.

Fourthly, Archery has an entire skill tree of goodies powering up bows further.

Fifthly, bow and arrow enchantments compound - while this has been dialled back in Sil-Q, in original Sil you could be firing Flaming Arrows which had an enchantment of Piercing from a Bow of Nargothrond. Archery was somewhat overpowered.

Sixthly, while a stack of vanilla spears or throwing axes might be fine at 50', by late game they look surprisingly sad. It's relatively rare to accumulate a stack of good throwing weapons which have some kind of slay on them, you're much more likely to have multiple bows with different slays in Sil (or arrows in Sil-Q).

There are probably a bunch more reasons why throwing weapons are terrible including, as you mention, driving up the cost of other Melee skills - but much would require to be done to make throwing into a comparably viable ranged option. Throwing being a relatively niche single combat action little mentioned in Tolkien didn't help its case either, nor did the relatively clumsy interface compared to archery, so I opted to drop the skill entirely.

DavidMedley December 17, 2019 05:59

Thanks for the response!

DavidMedley December 17, 2019 06:54

Blunt and Sharp
 
1.4.2 Manual says "blunt weapons are useful against armour" and "Song of Whetting • Grants sharpness" but neither of these things have any details. Is sharpness the same 2% per Song pt as in Sil?

Quirk December 17, 2019 09:54

Quote:

Originally Posted by DavidMedley (Post 141814)
1.4.2 Manual says "blunt weapons are useful against armour" and "Song of Whetting • Grants sharpness" but neither of these things have any details. Is sharpness the same 2% per Song pt as in Sil?

If blunt weapons are still listed as useful against armour, that's a bug in the manual. Previously quarter of the damage blunt weapons dealt ignored armour, but this was revised in 1.4.2 as it was felt to be inelegant.

Sharpness reduces armour by 50%; this is the case with all sharp weapons in Sil. Song of Sharpness was the anomaly here. Song of Whetting grants actual sharpness.

wobbly December 19, 2019 06:56

Standfast doesn't show up with staff of self knowledge

DavidMedley December 19, 2019 12:02

Very subjective, but I feel the terms "mindless" and "unintelligent" are too similar. I have it figured out now, but it took me quite a while.

Quirk December 19, 2019 12:44

Quote:

Originally Posted by wobbly (Post 141869)
Standfast doesn't show up with staff of self knowledge

Thanks, will fix.

seraph December 20, 2019 18:58

I believe hand axes are not flagged as throwing items. The combat rolls indicate that they have a thrown melee score of 4 when it should be 9, and 1 damage side when it should be 2. This penalty does not occur when wielded normally.

Quirk December 21, 2019 01:54

Quote:

Originally Posted by seraph (Post 141894)
I believe hand axes are not flagged as throwing items. The combat rolls indicate that they have a thrown melee score of 4 when it should be 9, and 1 damage side when it should be 2. This penalty does not occur when wielded normally.

Yeah, they're not throwing axes any more. I don't think there are actually any instances of axes being thrown in Tolkien (though I'm amenable to being proven wrong). Of course the same could probably be said of daggers...

HugoTheGreat2011 December 25, 2019 07:54

Is it just me or is Sil-Q digestion rate much slower than Sil-Vanilla by default? Rationale?

Quirk December 25, 2019 19:14

Quote:

Originally Posted by HugoTheGreat2011 (Post 141965)
Is it just me or is Sil-Q digestion rate much slower than Sil-Vanilla by default? Rationale?

It's just you. The only change to food in Sil-Q is around the removal of the Gorged status.

HugoTheGreat2011 December 26, 2019 13:17

Found a 'bug' and I don't know if this persisted since Sil-Vanilla 1.3.0. When wielding Gaurin (and maybe other Sharpness weapons), Staff of Self Knowledge reveals: " Your weapon cuts easily through armour (ignore 500f protection)".

Also:
How do betrayal artefacts work? e.g. Bloody Hand (as in this case)

Separate question unrelated to betrayal artefacts:
If I don't have Fire Resistance, abundant protection reduces its damage too, right?

Quirk December 26, 2019 16:19

Quote:

Originally Posted by HugoTheGreat2011 (Post 141979)
Found a 'bug' and I don't know if this persisted since Sil-Vanilla 1.3.0. When wielding Gaurin (and maybe other Sharpness weapons), Staff of Self Knowledge reveals: " Your weapon cuts easily through armour (ignore 500f protection)".

Thanks.

Quote:

Originally Posted by HugoTheGreat2011 (Post 141979)
Also:
How do betrayal artefacts work? e.g. Bloody Hand (as in this case)

Separate question unrelated to betrayal artefacts:
If I don't have Fire Resistance, abundant protection reduces its damage too, right?

Betrayal artefacts tend to fail you at bad moments. In the shield's case, it's likely to fail to block a blow capable of almost killing you when you're already quite badly injured. The effects of betrayal are never directly fatal, but can leave you in a sticky situation.

From the manual: "The only sources of protection that count are special protection from special abilities, or magical rings and amulets. If it is fire or cold damage, you can also count the protection from your shield."

wobbly December 26, 2019 17:15

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quirk (Post 141981)
From the manual: "The only sources of protection that count are special protection from special abilities, or magical rings and amulets. If it is fire or cold damage, you can also count the protection from your shield."

This one is actually a bit confusing, as there is fire breathe that works as above, and fire melee(balrogs) where it's physical damage with an extra die if you lack fire resistance.

Quirk December 27, 2019 17:45

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pete Mack (Post 141544)
Feature request:
When you have an un-Ided weapon with a slay on it, make a message that says 'your short sword {special} glows if a suitable monster is near by, even if the weapon is 'in your pack'. The nonsense of dropping it on the floor to check is just unnecessary tedium. (Possibly have the message even if the weapon is ided.)

Looked at this today, but it's not really viable. The condition for the weapon to glow is met on an ongoing basis, and may easily toggle back and forth a lot when you're nearby enemies without closing on them, so the message would get very spammy. Not sure why you'd drop the weapon on the floor rather than wield it.

Auto-IDing from the glow isn't so hot either - surrounded by wolves and orcs, your weapon could be either Gondolin or Doriath.

Have added a colour change when you look at your inventory - glowing weapons will highlight in cyan.

HugoTheGreat2011 December 30, 2019 00:25

So, apparently Flanking ?still works while confused. I encountered this while fighting Madthorns, but couldn't tell if it was because I was running into them or if 'flanking' took effect while going in a different confused direction around them. Let us know if this intended behavior. Thanks

wobbly December 30, 2019 09:14

Hey Quirk, you mentioned changing blocking to any action other then moving? I'm going to suggest the same mechanic as controlled retreat, or maybe similar so you can flank with it as well if you stood & hit last turn.

Quirk December 30, 2019 10:42

Quote:

Originally Posted by wobbly (Post 142019)
Hey Quirk, you mentioned changing blocking to any action other then moving? I'm going to suggest the same mechanic as controlled retreat, or maybe similar so you can flank with it as well if you stood & hit last turn.

Just to clarify, you mean block if you did not move on the previous turn? Or block if you are moving to a location that is not adjacent to the enemy?

I'm not sure I want it to work with Flanking - Dodging already does that, and I think thematically Flanking is mobility-based. It will still work nicely with Controlled Retreat.

wobbly December 30, 2019 10:53

I meant if you didn't move last turn. It would be a different rhythm to dodge/flanking which is move every beat, this is more move on the offbeat. No real strong feeling on it, just as long as it works with controlled retreat which is pretty much the only synergy block has at the moment.

wobbly January 2, 2020 13:11

Had a tanglethorn spawn on a staircase which maybe shouldn't be happening

seraph January 6, 2020 05:30

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quirk (Post 141903)
Yeah, they're not throwing axes any more. I don't think there are actually any instances of axes being thrown in Tolkien (though I'm amenable to being proven wrong). Of course the same could probably be said of daggers...

i must have missed that change.

hand axes are... terrible. i found a 5d2 one and was decided my vanilla great sword was better. 5d4 vs 3d8. and this is a best case scenario.

Quirk January 6, 2020 09:13

Quote:

Originally Posted by seraph (Post 142101)
i must have missed that change.

hand axes are... terrible. i found a 5d2 one and was decided my vanilla great sword was better. 5d4 vs 3d8. and this is a best case scenario.

Not sure this is a fair comparison. Hand axes are one handed; you can use a shield. You might as well say that great swords obsolete longswords.

Quirk January 6, 2020 09:22

In any case they're being changed for the next release because they were a bit on the broken side with smithing. They'll remain 1 lb but 4d2 base, so 4d3 with no bonuses, climbing to 4d5 with fine and Power.

If you compare either 4d5 or 5d4 with a 2d10 longsword, it should be fairly easy to see the axe has a better average without crits, a better worse case, and requires 1 strength against the longsword's 3.

seraph January 7, 2020 11:23

I did forget about shields. lol

ster January 10, 2020 23:00

Quote:

Originally Posted by seraph (Post 142101)
i must have missed that change.

hand axes are... terrible. i found a 5d2 one and was decided my vanilla great sword was better. 5d4 vs 3d8. and this is a best case scenario.

the handaxe is also doing ~1.5d4 extra damage most of the time because of how trivial setting up whetting on them is, you get shields, it has slightly more accuracy etc. they were really strong if built around especially as a 1lb weapon.

moosferatu February 10, 2020 02:27

I noticed that when I start a new character on linux that the keyboard becomes unresponsive if I select "New character" by pressing "b" rather than the down arrow.

I did a search of the forum, and it sounds like this may be a known issue with Sil that someone patched in a fork a few years ago:

http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthread.php?t=8427

Any chance the fix could be incorporated into Sil-q as well?

mibert April 4, 2020 20:14

i never step in traps
 
Hi all, I'm playing both the git version and 1.4.2 and I somehow always notice traps and never step in them. Seems really odd, any ideas? Thanks!

Quirk April 6, 2020 13:02

Quote:

Originally Posted by mibert (Post 144184)
Hi all, I'm playing both the git version and 1.4.2 and I somehow always notice traps and never step in them. Seems really odd, any ideas? Thanks!

If you have at least minimal investment in Perception you should be relatively rarely caught by traps.

At some point traps may undergo some sort of overhaul; as it stands they're not good game design and I've found making them more or less harmless to have few downsides. Making them viable would I think require either allowing enemies to be affected by them (Brogue does this very well) or giving thematic clues that let the player know they're in an area where traps could occur.

mibert April 6, 2020 13:13

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quirk (Post 144246)
If you have at least minimal investment in Perception you should be relatively rarely caught by traps.

At some point traps may overgo some sort of overhaul; as it stands they're not good game design and I've found making them more or less harmless to have few downsides. Making them viable would I think require either allowing enemies to be affected by them (Brogue does this very well) or giving thematic clues that let the player know they're in an area where traps could occur.

Hi Quirk, thanks for your answer. And many thanks for Sil-Q!
I'm just playing a Noldor with +3 Grace at start and no perception investment. I really dont think I have ever stepped on a trap. Very much unlike it used be.
I read the manual and noticed changes to how trap detection is calculated, so I guess it's that.

Infinitum April 10, 2020 11:44

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quirk (Post 144246)
At some point traps may undergo some sort of overhaul; as it stands they're not good game design and I've found making them more or less harmless to have few downsides. Making them viable would I think require either allowing enemies to be affected by them (Brogue does this very well) or giving thematic clues that let the player know they're in an area where traps could occur.

Please do! Role playing traps to me seems like a vestigal D&D feature to give rogue characters something to do more than anything.

As for thematic replacements, nests and spiderwebs are spot on (especially if the latter can be coded to spawn in close proximity to spiders). Having uneven/slippery terrain which can trip up the player unless spotted could also serve as a functional replacement to the minor nuisance traps. Maybe the thornbush enemies could be remade as a dungeon feature as well, blocking line of sight and causing minor damage as the player pushes through them.


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