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-   -   Dead character feedback (http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthread.php?t=5371)

Derakon March 23, 2012 05:40

Dead character feedback
 
I've been playing a half-troll paladin for awhile. He's dead now. So, time to wrap things up!

The dump's here so you can see his stats. In no particular order...

* Giant Rocs are overpowered. I compiled a list that sorts monsters from levels 36-60 by their average melee damage, multiplied by their speed (so e.g. a 1.5x multiplier for mature dragons). Giant Rocs are 9th from the top, and the only non-unique monster that beats them is the Death Mold. For reference, they're native to dlvl 40. If you divide the damage by the monster's native depth, and exclude unique monsters, then you get this list, where the Giant Roc is 5th from the top.

Now, this list ignores resistances; depending on the type of attack a monster has, it may deal more or less damage. But Rocs still have absurdly burly melee damage for their depth. Given that I remember them being nigh-absolute pushovers, I think someone overcompensated at some point.

* Stat gain is very slow. I don't know what the desired rate here is, but note that I only had two stats above 18 (by internal numbers). I'm pretty sure I saw less than 10 stat potions this entire game, counting !Charisma.

* Note the heavy crossbow in my home. I couldn't hit diddly with that thing, and when I did typically the bolts did pathetic damage. Orb of Draining, especially with my unaccountably high WIS, was much more reliable.

* Also note the total lack of artifacts. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it occurs to me that most of the artifacts in the game are going to be serious disappointments by the time they do get generated. If you're going to get 5 artifacts all game, all of them showing up after you've passed 3000', are you really going to want one of them to be Paurhach? I don't know what the right solution here is, though.

* We may want to revisit prowess/finesse values for the different classes. Paladins at least are overbiased towards prowess weapons, I think. When I died at clvl33 my innate finesse was 88 and prowess was 252. Granted this wasn't helped much by my pathetic DEX score of 12 -- but if it'd been 18/50 instead I'd only be up 54 points. The thing to realize is that players are going to tend to favor weapons that favor their stats, so even a slight bias in their stats gets emphasized by their weapons. For example, even if my finesse went from, say, 50 to 500, my blows would only go from 1.05 to 1.5 if I'm using a Great Hammer.

* Potions of Restore Mana are too common. I also found a lot of potions of Healing for a bit, then suddenly they stopped showing up. Might want to look at a plot of distribution of !Healing as a percentage of all items, with respect to depth.

* Cavernous levels need some work. Sub-items:
** It's very hard to run away from fights in caverns. Caverns have very simple layouts, and the straight-line distance between two points is only rarely much shorter than the distance monsters must travel. Monsters will rapidly track you down if you try to flee, even via teleport.
** The monster density is very high.
** You can't really use the terrain to control fights. Normal combat in Angband relies heavily on one-tile-wide corridors with right angles in them. There's the occasional chokepoint in cavernous levels, but it still typically leaves you in full view of a large number of monsters.
** Given the monster density and bad terrain, group monsters are particularly vicious, especially since they often end up being able to play keepaway (not charging) while still having you in LOS to deploy breath weapons / spells.
** There's very few items on the floor.
All said, I think caverns would work much better as a room type instead of a type for the entire dungeon.

* At some point ID-by-use of weapons and armor becomes unfeasible (because swapping gear around becomes dangerous, if nothing else). Currently that means you start examining the item for desirable affixes, and IDing the ones you think might be worthwhile. This breaks down when you consider weapons that can have lots of hidden affixes that boost dice, damage, and finesse, which could make them far more valuable than the weapons that have noticeable affixes but no significant dice or pluses.

My suggestion would be to make dice and pluses reveal on pseudo at some character level; at least by clvl 30. This would go with auto-ID-on-pickup at clvl 45 or whatever, which I know's been suggested before.

Magnate March 23, 2012 08:28

Quote:

Originally Posted by Derakon (Post 67729)
* Giant Rocs are overpowered. I compiled a list that sorts monsters from levels 36-60 by their average melee damage, multiplied by their speed (so e.g. a 1.5x multiplier for mature dragons). Giant Rocs are 9th from the top, and the only non-unique monster that beats them is the Death Mold. For reference, they're native to dlvl 40. If you divide the damage by the monster's native depth, and exclude unique monsters, then you get this list, where the Giant Roc is 5th from the top.

Now, this list ignores resistances; depending on the type of attack a monster has, it may deal more or less damage. But Rocs still have absurdly burly melee damage for their depth. Given that I remember them being nigh-absolute pushovers, I think someone overcompensated at some point.

It also ignores their resists, hitpoints, and so on. What you've done is recreated half of the monster power algorithm (the bit that works out total melee damage). You need to add power for monster spells and defences - see src/monster/mon-power.c - it hasn't been updated for a while, so it doesn't take into account evasion or absorption properly yet. In fact to be clear, it doesn't take evasion into account at all (which means it needs updating), and it probably undervalues absorption, as it's what used to be simply AC.
Quote:

* Stat gain is very slow. I don't know what the desired rate here is, but note that I only had two stats above 18 (by internal numbers). I'm pretty sure I saw less than 10 stat potions this entire game, counting !Charisma.
That's a very recent change, announced by takkaria in the V forum. IIUC it's intended to offset the fact that stat gain is much quicker now you can get from 18/90 to 18/100 in a single potion.
Quote:

* Note the heavy crossbow in my home. I couldn't hit diddly with that thing, and when I did typically the bolts did pathetic damage. Orb of Draining, especially with my unaccountably high WIS, was much more reliable.
Is this after your changes to ammo dice? More food for thought re archery.
Quote:

* Also note the total lack of artifacts. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it occurs to me that most of the artifacts in the game are going to be serious disappointments by the time they do get generated. If you're going to get 5 artifacts all game, all of them showing up after you've passed 3000', are you really going to want one of them to be Paurhach? I don't know what the right solution here is, though.
Well, the stats show that this time you really are just unlucky (compared with your first v4 AAR, when you were discovering quite how overly rare artifacts were in that version). Artifacts are still rarer than in V (though takk's recent changes have probably narrowed that gap by making artifacts less common in V), but you should certainly find a few before 3000'.
Quote:

* We may want to revisit prowess/finesse values for the different classes. Paladins at least are overbiased towards prowess weapons, I think. When I died at clvl33 my innate finesse was 88 and prowess was 252. Granted this wasn't helped much by my pathetic DEX score of 12 -- but if it'd been 18/50 instead I'd only be up 54 points. The thing to realize is that players are going to tend to favor weapons that favor their stats, so even a slight bias in their stats gets emphasized by their weapons. For example, even if my finesse went from, say, 50 to 500, my blows would only go from 1.05 to 1.5 if I'm using a Great Hammer.
But isn't this precisely what the system is intended to encourage? IMO paladins *ought* to be the most prowess-biased class, so that makes sense. I'm not sure what's really wrong here - were you doing too much damage too early?
Quote:

* Potions of Restore Mana are too common. I also found a lot of potions of Healing for a bit, then suddenly they stopped showing up. Might want to look at a plot of distribution of !Healing as a percentage of all items, with respect to depth.
I think we probably need a look at consumables in general. They haven't really been touched since the fork, and were too common even in 3.3.x
Quote:

* At some point ID-by-use of weapons and armor becomes unfeasible (because swapping gear around becomes dangerous, if nothing else). Currently that means you start examining the item for desirable affixes, and IDing the ones you think might be worthwhile. This breaks down when you consider weapons that can have lots of hidden affixes that boost dice, damage, and finesse, which could make them far more valuable than the weapons that have noticeable affixes but no significant dice or pluses.

My suggestion would be to make dice and pluses reveal on pseudo at some character level; at least by clvl 30. This would go with auto-ID-on-pickup at clvl 45 or whatever, which I know's been suggested before.
Well, pseudo is going, at least its current implementation. I'd be happy for dice and plusses to be revealed in the same way (after a time which depends on class, with warriors quickest then rogues/paladins then rangers/priests then magi), with the speed increasing with clev (so it's instantaneous for warriors by cl20, and for magi by cl40, say).

Derakon March 23, 2012 14:20

Quote:

Originally Posted by Magnate (Post 67730)
It also ignores their resists, hitpoints, and so on. What you've done is recreated half of the monster power algorithm (the bit that works out total melee damage). You need to add power for monster spells and defences - see src/monster/mon-power.c - it hasn't been updated for a while, so it doesn't take into account evasion or absorption properly yet. In fact to be clear, it doesn't take evasion into account at all (which means it needs updating), and it probably undervalues absorption, as it's what used to be simply AC.

Okay, fair enough, but I suspect that the monster power algorithm will show giant rocs as being overpowered too. :)
Quote:

That's a very recent change, announced by takkaria in the V forum. IIUC it's intended to offset the fact that stat gain is much quicker now you can get from 18/90 to 18/100 in a single potion.
Mm, I started this game before Takk's announcement, so I don't know when exactly it went into effect. Do we know about when we want the player to be, say, 50% through with stat gain?
Quote:

Is this after your changes to ammo dice? More food for thought re archery.
After, but my changes to ammo dice were pretty conservative (I only doubled their size, basically), since I didn't really know what an appropriate value would be. Ammo doesn't really scale over the course of the game the way weapons do, after all.
Quote:

Well, the stats show that this time you really are just unlucky (compared with your first v4 AAR, when you were discovering quite how overly rare artifacts were in that version). Artifacts are still rarer than in V (though takk's recent changes have probably narrowed that gap by making artifacts less common in V), but you should certainly find a few before 3000'.
Can we run stats with randarts turned on? Just to make certain they have similar drop frequencies as standarts.
Quote:

But isn't this precisely what the system is intended to encourage? IMO paladins *ought* to be the most prowess-biased class, so that makes sense. I'm not sure what's really wrong here - were you doing too much damage too early?
It's more that there was no reason I would ever consider using even an unbiased weapon, let alone a finesse weapon, because my finesse score was so abysmal. I don't think it's unreasonable for a paladin to want to be able to use a longsword without feeling like he's sacrificing too much damage.
Quote:

Well, pseudo is going, at least its current implementation. I'd be happy for dice and plusses to be revealed in the same way (after a time which depends on class, with warriors quickest then rogues/paladins then rangers/priests then magi), with the speed increasing with clev (so it's instantaneous for warriors by cl20, and for magi by cl40, say).
Maybe I'll take a look at this when I get some time. No guarantees though; I've not looked at the pseudo/ID code before.

Magnate March 23, 2012 17:24

Quote:

Originally Posted by Derakon (Post 67735)
Okay, fair enough, but I suspect that the monster power algorithm will show giant rocs as being overpowered too. :)

I think the +5 speed must make a huge difference, along with whatever ev/abs it has. Before those changes, but after the elec hits, it was 173rd in absolute power and 115th in scaled power. So it was notably tough for its native depth, but not ridiculously so - its peers were master mystics, ancient golds and Dwar, Dog Lord of Waw. I think it would probably be in the top 100 now.
Quote:

Mm, I started this game before Takk's announcement, so I don't know when exactly it went into effect. Do we know about when we want the player to be, say, 50% through with stat gain?
The trouble with questions like that is that they depend on diving speed - hence all the debates about setting one's own difficulty. I'd say we want stat gain to be 50% complete by around clev 40, and 100% complete after clev 50, but I think pro-divers will disagree (and I am in other ways very pro-diver).
Quote:

Can we run stats with randarts turned on? Just to make certain they have similar drop frequencies as standarts.
That is possible, but nobody has the spare computing power to do it - it's an order of magnitude slower because of the randart generator. I've been postponing it until the generator rewrite, because it'll be a lot faster.
Quote:

It's more that there was no reason I would ever consider using even an unbiased weapon, let alone a finesse weapon, because my finesse score was so abysmal. I don't think it's unreasonable for a paladin to want to be able to use a longsword without feeling like he's sacrificing too much damage.
I see. I guess this raises an issue with balance- and heft-changing affixes: sometimes they'll actually have a net negative impact on damage output, e.g. when they're applied to a weapon of the opposite preference.

So what you're saying is that the current values in the system are too extreme, and we ought to have slightly less of a gulf between finesse chars and prowess chars? So that sometimes a char will use an awesome weapon of the opposite preference? I wonder if this will undermine the success of the system (which I think depends on the extremes playing very differently), but it's worth thinking about.

Derakon March 23, 2012 17:59

Quote:

Originally Posted by Magnate (Post 67739)
So what you're saying is that the current values in the system are too extreme, and we ought to have slightly less of a gulf between finesse chars and prowess chars? So that sometimes a char will use an awesome weapon of the opposite preference? I wonder if this will undermine the success of the system (which I think depends on the extremes playing very differently), but it's worth thinking about.

I wouldn't go that far. Certainly I have no problem with paladins never wanting to use daggers or rapiers. But longswords are unbiased -- 50% finesse, 50% prowess. Currently the only characters that I suspect would be willing to use such unbiased weapons are warriors (who have largely unbiased stats) and mages (whose class-based stats are so terrible that equipment and stat bonuses make up the bulk of their combat capability). That's wrong.

In other words, I want your average character to look at the three "classes" of weapons and think:

* This weapon is for the opposed combat modus. I don't want to use it.
* This weapon is for my combat modus. I'd like to use it.
* This weapon is unbiased. It's not as good as one for my modus but if it's good enough in other ways then I'd be happy with it.

fizzix March 23, 2012 20:37

AFAIK the *only* change to Rocs is the +5 speed, which probably is the main reason for their difficulty. They were pretty burly in the past too, I've died to them before. That's not to say that they shouldn't be deepened or weakened.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Magnate
That's a very recent change, announced by takkaria in the V forum. IIUC it's intended to offset the fact that stat gain is much quicker now you can get from 18/90 to 18/100 in a single potion.

Stat gain needs to either require *no* grinding or it needs to be unnecessary. Derakon has 660k game turns, assuming half of these were in stat-gain range, he should have higher stats

I proposed a while back a "minimum stat" approach where @'s effective stat (pre-equipment/RB-CB bonuses) is MAX(physical_stat, mstat(c_level)). So for example, you could imagine minimum stats to look something like:
Code:

CL0: 12
CL5: 13
CL10: 14
CL15: 15
CL20: 17
CL25: 18
CL30: 18/20
CL35: 18/40
CL40: 18/60
CL50: 18/80


I'm just making up numbers here, but the idea is that you can get character growth by either gaining levels or finding stat potions. However you can't get to your full potential with just one, you need both for that. This would also somewhat mitigate the problem of nexus stat-swap being game over.

Derakon March 23, 2012 20:56

That's an interesting idea, that your minimum internal stat bonus would depend directly on your clvl. Might well be worth trying. Though you should start from 10, not 12, since that's where you start with point buy. Starting from 12 would basically give about 6 free points to the player from the start.

Oh, one other thing I meant to bring up: the Bless and Berserker spells are available to the wrong classes. Bless increases finesse and is available only to prowess fighters; Berserker increases prowess and is available only to finesse fighters. Of course, Bless also chews up three full spell slots (Bless/Chant/Prayer), so it's not like you can just swap the two.

Heroism, for reference, boosts both finesse and prowess equally.

fizzix March 23, 2012 21:08

Quote:

Originally Posted by Derakon (Post 67742)
Though you should start from 10, not 12, since that's where you start with point buy. Starting from 12 would basically give about 6 free points to the player from the start.

Yes, you're right. For some reason I thought you started at 12 not 10.

Magnate March 23, 2012 21:26

Quote:

Originally Posted by fizzix (Post 67744)
Yes, you're right. For some reason I thought you started at 12 not 10.

I really like that idea. We can't stop people grinding/scumming for items, whether stat potions or anything else, but mechanisms like this that make it less tempting are excellent.

Derakon March 23, 2012 22:14

One possible concern with the "minimum stat by clvl" idea is that you can use stat-swap potions to drain a stat below your clvl minimum, and then when you gain a level that loss would itself be "lost", leaving you with a net gain.

Given that stat-swap potions are currently the only way to permanently drain stats (unless you count nexus, which is irrelevant for this discussion), and given that the stat-swap potions have themselves been a bit controversial, I wonder if perhaps they should be done away with altogether.

Alternately, we may simply not care about that particular abuse case. I'd feel better about that if stat-swap potions showed up at the same time as stat-gain potions.

CunningGabe March 23, 2012 23:11

I maintain that the stat-swap potions should be replaced with potions that temporarily boost a stat (by say, +5), and that 5% of the time they leave a permanent boost when they wear off. Then we don't have these weird stat-swap issues, and id-by-use is easier.

will_asher March 23, 2012 23:21

Quote:

Originally Posted by CunningGabe (Post 67747)
I maintain that the stat-swap potions should be replaced with potions that temporarily boost a stat (by say, +5), and that 5% of the time they leave a permanent boost when they wear off. Then we don't have these weird stat-swap issues, and id-by-use is easier.

I agree, except I don't see a need for the chance of a permanent boost for these.

Scatha March 24, 2012 11:16

Quote:

Originally Posted by Derakon (Post 67735)
It's more that there was no reason I would ever consider using even an unbiased weapon, let alone a finesse weapon, because my finesse score was so abysmal. I don't think it's unreasonable for a paladin to want to be able to use a longsword without feeling like he's sacrificing too much damage.

I think we ran into a similar issue when balancing Sil. Our first guess for balance ran a straight line for the tradeoffs between two values as found on different items. This was a problem because character preferences generally translate to a derivative, and this would push them all the way to one end or the other.

Our solution was to replace the straight line with a curve. You might do that here by removing the "sum to 100%" rule, and letting balanced weapons get more than that (perhaps longswords 60% prowess, 60% finesse?), and perhaps extreme weapons less (90% / 5% at the ends?), while keeping 80%/20% as a 'typical' split.

Edit: I suppose you could also keep the balance numbers the same but increase the base damage for balanced weapons?

half March 24, 2012 12:47

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scatha (Post 67751)
Our first guess for balance ran a straight line for the tradeoffs between two values as found on different items. This was a problem because character preferences generally translate to a derivative, and this would push them all the way to one end or the other.

Edit: I suppose you could also keep the balance numbers the same but increase the base damage for balanced weapons?

I was thinking exactly the same things:
1) this needs to not be a straight line,
2) the most obvious way is to make the finesse and prowess not always sum to 100,
3) the better way is to increase the damage for the balanced weapons.

PS Scatha is being very generous to me with the use of 'we'. Actually he worked this out and I actually took a little bit of convincing. It is definitely the right approach though.

Derakon March 24, 2012 15:17

Good advice, thanks! The "balanced weapons get better dice" approach seems like it'd be easier for the users to deal with. I guess the question is, how much better...

CunningGabe March 24, 2012 16:28

Quote:

Originally Posted by will_asher (Post 67748)
I agree, except I don't see a need for the chance of a permanent boost for these.

I don't know if a permanent boost is necessary, but I'm also not sure how much of an impact people will feel from a temp-boost potion. I should just code that up and give it a try, I guess.

ekolis March 24, 2012 16:37

Quote:

Originally Posted by CunningGabe (Post 67757)
I don't know if a permanent boost is necessary, but I'm also not sure how much of an impact people will feel from a temp-boost potion. I should just code that up and give it a try, I guess.

Crawl has the exact same thing (the bonus is even +5 just like you suggested), and they are... somewhat useful, sometimes :P Of course I'm not an expert Crawl player, so maybe others would find them more or less useful than I would...

buzzkill March 24, 2012 16:41

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scatha (Post 67751)
Our solution was to replace the straight line with a curve. You might do that here by removing the "sum to 100%" rule, and letting balanced weapons get more than that (perhaps longswords 60% prowess, 60% finesse?), and perhaps extreme weapons less (90% / 5% at the ends?), while keeping 80%/20% as a 'typical' split.

I had the same feeling. If a longsword is appealing to no character, then boost it up a bit, cause IMO, a long sword being a fairly ordinary weapon, should be a half-way decent choice for just about anybody, and an exceptional choice for for... let's say warrior types.

saarn April 25, 2012 06:06

so when are finesse weapons good?
 
I read this thread before I picked up v4. Cool, I thought, finally heavy weapons are going to make sense to use, and there will be different fighting styles. It'd been a few years since I'd really played Angband and I figured I'd try out a finesse character to see what that would be like.

My first character was a hobbit thief, I reduced his strength a bit and boosted dexterity so his starting finesse was pretty darn good. Around Clvl 10 I found some decent rapiers and stuff, and then I found a flail which was way better (got me to something like 15 damage per round whereas I was looking at maybe 10 with a short sword), then I got one of slay evil, and then I managed to finally buy a vanilla katana in the store which got me to 30 damage per round. In no case was a pure finesse weapon that I ran into ever appealing. Especially since the base damage per blow is so low that even if I had 20 blows per round, they all would be absorbed by half the monsters in the dungeon.

Similarly, I just ran a hobbit ranger (really annoying death) to Clvl 20 / Dlvl 33. I died wielding a hunter's broadsword, but could have equally gone for a battle axe.

Overall impressions: melee attacks seem to bounce off monsters. magic missile for my ranger was way better than either my melee or my longbow. Game seems mostly easier than I remember, but monsters are much harder to squash. I think it's easier because there aren't curses on equipment, there's less really bad equipment, less bad potions (I only hit one potion of saltwater), and generally the game seems less vindictive for making careless mistakes. I wish v4 were nastier (isn't getting screwed for being careless what this game is all about?).

Weapons with brands and such don't seem a whole lot better than regular weapons, and oddly free action seemed more common than see invisible (I found two sets of footwear with FA, but nothing of see invis).

Things I really liked:
first time running into a baby chaos drake and hallucinating wildly at Dlvl 17 or so. It was punishing, but it wore off in a few rounds so wasn't totally evil. Also gave me an early taste of what the deeper bits of the dungeon might be like.

Creeping xxx coins aren't obviously monsters until you get near them and they start hitting you. Nearly got my ass kicked by a creeping gold coins around Dlvl 7. Fun.

Things I wish for: ability to intentionally trigger traps (e.g. for teleport or trap doors if the latter still exist).

Code:

  [Angband-v4 v4-830-g188e03d-dirty Character Dump]

 Name  Gopal                                    Self  RB  CB  EB  Best
 Sex    Male        Age            28  STR:    17  -2  +0  +0    15
 Race  Hobbit      Height          37  INT:    14  +2  +2  +0    18
 Class  Ranger      Weight          60  WIS:    10  +1  -2  +0      9
 Title  Courser      Social      Liked  DEX:    16  +3  +1  +0  18/20
 HP    -9/119      Maximize        Y  CON:    12  +2  -1  +0    13
 SP    16/21                            CHR:    10  +1  +1  +0    12

 Level              20  Armor    [22,+10]    Saving Throw        67%
 Cur Exp          6588  Fight (+196,+102)    Stealth        Excellent
 Max Exp          6588  Melee (+216,+158)    Finesse              126
 Adv Exp          7560  Shoot  (+209,+10)    Prowess              60
 MaxDepth  1650' (L33)  Blows    1.8/turn    Shooting          Heroic
 Game Turns      248436  Blow power  2.0x    Disarming            63%
 Standard Turns  23837  Shots      2/turn    Magic Device          73
 Resting Turns    10379  Infra      40 ft    Search Radius          4
 Gold              1451  Speed          -1    Searching            46
                          Burden  102.8 lbs
 You are one of several children of a Hobbit Miller.  You are a well
 liked child.  You have dark brown eyes, straight blond hair, and an
 average complexion.


rAcid:........+.... Nexus:.............
rElec:....+........ Nethr:.............
rFire:............. Chaos:.............
rCold:............. Disen:.............
rPois:............. Feath:.............
rLite:............. pFear:.............
rDark:............. pBlnd:.............
Sound:............. pConf:.............
Shard:............. pStun:.............

Light:.....+....... Tunn.:.............
Regen:............. Speed:.............
  ESP:............. Blows:.............
Invis:............. Shots:.............
FrAct:...........+. Might:.............
HLife:............+ S.Dig:.............
Stea.:............. ImpHP:.............
Sear.:.............  Fear:.............
Infra:............+ Aggrv:.............


  [Last Messages]

> Nár, the Dwarf hits you.
> Nár, the Dwarf misses you.
> Nár, the Dwarf hits you.
> You fail to harm Nár, the Dwarf.
> Nár, the Dwarf sets off a blinding flash.
> You are blind.
> You hit it.
> You miss it.
> it hits you.
> You hit it.
> You miss it.
> it hits you.
> You miss it.
> it hits you.
> You die.

Killed by Nár, the Dwarf.

  [Character Equipment]

a) a Journeyman's Broad Sword of Slay Troll (2d5) (+20,+56) <+85>
    Dropped by a Quasit at 850 feet (level 17).
   
    Slays trolls (x1.85).
    Can be destroyed by acid.
   
    Combat info:
    Receives 40% of your finesse score, 65% of your prowess score.
    1.8 blows/round.
    2.0x damage multiplier.
    Average damage/round: 22.5 vs. normal creatures, 31.9 vs. trolls.
   
   
b) a Long Bow of Slaying (x3) (+13,+10)
    Bought from a store.
   
    Can be destroyed by acid, fire.
   
   
c) a Ring of Protection [+10]
    Found lying on the floor at 700 feet (level 14).
   
    Can be destroyed by electricity.
   
   
d) a Ring of Reckless Attacks (+35,+27) [-12]
    Found lying on the floor at 750 feet (level 15).
   
    Can be destroyed by electricity.
   
   
e) an Amulet of Resist Lightning
    Found lying on the floor at 850 feet (level 17).
   
    Provides resistance to lightning.
    Cannot be harmed by electricity.
   
   
f) a Lantern (11782 turns) <+2>
    Found lying on the floor at 850 feet (level 17).
   
    +2 light radius.
    Cannot be harmed by fire.
   
   
g) a Jerkin [8,-1]
    Found lying on the floor at 500 feet (level 10).
   
    Can be destroyed by acid, fire.
   
   
h) a Tough Cloak [1,+5]
    Dropped by a Snaga at 850 feet (level 17).
   
    Can be destroyed by acid, fire.
   
   
i) a Large Shield of Resist Acid [5,+0]
    Bought from a store.
   
    Provides resistance to acid.
    Cannot be harmed by acid.
   
   
j) a Soft Cap [2,+0]
    Bought from a store.
   
    Can be destroyed by acid.
   
   
k) a Tough Set of Gauntlets [3,+2]
    Dropped by an unknown monster at 850 feet (level 17).
   
    Can be destroyed by acid, fire.
   
   
l) a Tough Pair of Soft Boots of Free Action [3,+4]
    Dropped by Lagduf, the Snaga at 850 feet (level 17).
   
    Can be destroyed by acid, fire.
    Prevents paralysis. 
   
   


  [Character Quiver]

n) 21 Arrows (1d7) (+0,+0)
    Bought from a store.
   
    Can be destroyed by acid, fire.
   
    Combat info:
    Hits targets up to 120 feet away.
    Average damage/round: 23 vs. normal creatures, 0 vs. creatures
    made of stone, 0 vs. creatures made of stone, 25.2 vs. creatures
    hurt by light, 29 vs. evil creatures, 271.4 vs. demons, 23.8 vs.
    orcs, 1822.6 vs. trolls, 26.4 vs. giants, 1822.6 vs. dragons, 67.4
    vs. creatures not resistant to acid, 0 vs. creatures not resistant
    to electricity, 47 vs. creatures not resistant to fire, 0 vs.
    creatures not resistant to cold, 2499.8 vs. creatures not
    resistant to poison.
    35% chance of breaking upon contact.
   
   
o) 40 Arrows (1d7) (+0,+0)
    Bought from a store.
   
    Can be destroyed by acid, fire.
   
    Combat info:
    Hits targets up to 120 feet away.
    Average damage/round: 23 vs. normal creatures, 0 vs. creatures
    made of stone, 0 vs. creatures made of stone, 25.2 vs. creatures
    hurt by light, 29 vs. evil creatures, 271.4 vs. demons, 23.8 vs.
    orcs, 1822.6 vs. trolls, 26.4 vs. giants, 1822.6 vs. dragons, 67.4
    vs. creatures not resistant to acid, 0 vs. creatures not resistant
    to electricity, 47 vs. creatures not resistant to fire, 0 vs.
    creatures not resistant to cold, 2499.8 vs. creatures not
    resistant to poison.
    35% chance of breaking upon contact.
   
   
p) (nothing)
q) (nothing)
r) (nothing)
s) (nothing)
t) (nothing)
u) (nothing)
v) (nothing)
w) (nothing)


  [Character Inventory]

a) a Book of Magic Spells [Magic for Beginners]
    Can be destroyed by fire.
   
   
b) a Book of Magic Spells [Conjurings and Tricks]
    Can be destroyed by fire.
   
   
c) 2 Rations of Food
    Dropped by a Green glutton ghost at 1400 feet (level 28).
   
   
d) 6 Potions of Cure Serious Wounds
    Bought from a store.
   
    Can be destroyed by cold.
   
   
e) a Potion of Cure Critical Wounds
    Bought from a store.
   
    Can be destroyed by cold.
   
   
f) a Potion of Speed
    Bought from a store.
   
    Can be destroyed by cold.
   
   
g) a Potion of Resist Poison
    Dropped by a Gnome mage at 700 feet (level 14).
   
    Can be destroyed by cold.
   
   
h) 3 Potions of True Seeing
    Can be destroyed by cold.
   
   
i) 8 Scrolls of Phase Door
    Can be destroyed by acid, fire.
   
   
j) a Scroll of Teleportation
    Dropped by a Blue yeek at 1000 feet (level 20).
   
    Can be destroyed by acid, fire.
   
   
k) 4 Scrolls of Satisfy Hunger
    Can be destroyed by acid, fire.
   
   
l) 3 Scrolls of Word of Recall
    Can be destroyed by acid, fire.
   
   
m) a Scroll of Holy Chant
    Bought from a store.
   
    Can be destroyed by acid, fire.
   
   
n) a Rod of Magic Mapping
    Found lying on the floor at 700 feet (level 14).
   
    Can be destroyed by electricity.
   
   
o) 2 Wands of Stone to Mud (8 charges)
    Can be destroyed by electricity.
   
   
p) a Wand of Sleep Monster (16 charges)
    Dropped by a Troll priest at 1650 feet (level 33).
   
    Can be destroyed by electricity.
   
   
q) a Staff of Cure Light Wounds (8 charges)
    Dropped by a Forest wight at 1400 feet (level 28).
   
    Can be destroyed by acid, fire.
   
   
r) a Staff of Teleportation (6 charges)
    Bought from a store.
   
    Can be destroyed by acid, fire.
   
   
s) a Staff of Identify (8 charges)
    Can be destroyed by acid, fire.
   
   
t) a Rapier of Lightning (3d2) (+10,+13) <+85..>
    Found lying on the floor at 1650 feet (level 33).
   
    Branded with venom (x1.79), lightning (x1.85).
    Provides resistance to lightning.
    Cannot be harmed by electricity.
    Can be destroyed by acid.
   
    Combat info:
    Receives 90% of your finesse score, 10% of your prowess score.
    2.8 blows/round.
    1.1x damage multiplier.
    Average damage/round: 12.5 vs. normal creatures, 22.2 vs.
    creatures not resistant to electricity, 21.3 vs. creatures not
    resistant to poison.
   
   


  [Home Inventory]

a) a Book of Magic Spells [Magic for Beginners]
    Can be destroyed by fire.
   
   
b) a Book of Magic Spells [Conjurings and Tricks]
    Can be destroyed by fire.
   
   
c) a Scroll of Remove Curse
    Bought from a store.
   
    Can be destroyed by acid, fire.
   
   
d) 4 Scrolls of Satisfy Hunger
    Can be destroyed by acid, fire.
   
   
e) 3 Scrolls of Word of Recall
    Can be destroyed by acid, fire.
   
   
f) a Staff of Identify (8 charges)
    Can be destroyed by acid, fire.
   
   
g) a Ring of Searching <+2>
    Found lying on the floor at 650 feet (level 13).
   
    +10% to searching.
    Can be destroyed by electricity.
   
   
h) a Ring of Delving <+4>
    Dropped by a Snaga at 850 feet (level 17).
   
    +4 tunneling.
    Can be destroyed by electricity.
   
   
i) a Tough Pair of Sandals of Free Action [2,+3]
    Dropped by a Blue yeek at 1000 feet (level 20).
   
    Can be destroyed by acid, fire.
    Prevents paralysis. 
   
   
j) 19 Journeyman's Sling Shots of Venom (4d3) (+45,+71) <+84..>
    Dropped by Orfax, Son of Boldor at 1000 feet (level 20).
   
    Branded with venom (x1.51), flames (x1.84).
    Cannot be harmed by fire.
   
   


============================================================
                  CHAR.
|  TURN  | DEPTH |LEVEL| EVENT
============================================================
        1      0'    1  Began the quest to destroy Morgoth.
      3022    100'    2  Reached level 2
      7710    200'    3  Reached level 3
    10471    200'    3  Killed Grip, Farmer Maggot's dog
    10471    200'    4  Reached level 4
    11206    200'    4  Killed Fang, Farmer Maggot's dog
    15192    200'    5  Reached level 5
    21262    250'    6  Reached level 6
    29978    300'    7  Reached level 7
    34907    400'    8  Reached level 8
    49045    500'    9  Reached level 9
    59587    600'  10  Reached level 10
    62005    650'  11  Reached level 11
    70493    650'  12  Reached level 12
    83629    700'  13  Reached level 13
    97968    700'  14  Reached level 14
    116100    850'  15  Reached level 15
    134628    850'  16  Reached level 16
    147577    850'  16  Killed Lagduf, the Snaga
    169892  1000'  17  Reached level 17
    195177    950'  18  Reached level 18
    204964  1000'  18  Killed Orfax, Son of Boldor
    218317  1400'  19  Reached level 19
    245178  1650'  20  Reached level 20


  [Options]

Maximise effect of race/class bonuses        : yes (birth_maximize)
Randomise the artifacts (except a very few)  : no  (birth_randarts)
Restrict the use of stairs/recall            : no  (birth_ironman)
Restrict the use of stores/home              : no  (birth_no_stores)
Restrict creation of artifacts              : no  (birth_no_artifacts)
Don't stack objects on the floor            : no  (birth_no_stacking)
Lose artifacts when leaving level            : no  (birth_no_preserve)
Don't generate connected stairs              : no  (birth_no_stairs)
Don't show level feelings                    : no  (birth_no_feelings)
Items always sell for 0 gold                : no  (birth_no_selling)
Use previous set of randarts                : yes (birth_keep_randarts)
Monsters chase recent locations              : yes (birth_ai_smell)
Monsters act smarter in groups              : yes (birth_ai_packs)
Monsters learn from their mistakes          : no  (birth_ai_learn)
Monsters exploit player's weaknesses        : no  (birth_ai_cheat)
Monsters behave more intelligently (broken)  : no  (birth_ai_smart)


Derakon April 25, 2012 06:27

Quote:

Originally Posted by saarn (Post 68849)
In no case was a pure finesse weapon that I ran into ever appealing. Especially since the base damage per blow is so low that even if I had 20 blows per round, they all would be absorbed by half the monsters in the dungeon.

I've had similar concerns lurking in the back of my mind but never really got a chance to fully playtest a finesse character. Finesse and prowess weapons really ought to have the same average damage per round when used by appropriately-skilled characters; prowess characters maybe slightly higher due to the fact they hit less often, but not hugely so. But prowess weapons nearly universally have better dice than finesse weapons do.

If you want to go through the edit files and propose changes to the damage dice on weapons, feel free to do so.

Incidentally, last I heard missile combat was still semi-broken, so it's sadly no real surprise that shooting things didn't work very well.

Quote:

I think it's easier because there aren't curses on equipment, there's less really bad equipment, less bad potions (I only hit one potion of saltwater), and generally the game seems less vindictive for making careless mistakes. I wish v4 were nastier (isn't getting screwed for being careless what this game is all about?).
Hmm...as part of our efforts to remove the pure-tedium gameplay of identifying everything in sight before using it, ID-by-use has been made much less punishing. To allow for this, the vast majority of bad/cursed items were removed. Thus the player is never outright slapped for daring to try using something when they don't know what it is (though of course you can still be e.g. teleported into the middle of pack of monsters).

Aside from that, though, it may well be that the game doesn't punish gameplay mistakes as harshly as it could. Again, if you have ideas for how that could be fixed, feel free to speak up. :)

Quote:

Weapons with brands and such don't seem a whole lot better than regular weapons
I'm inclined to agree with you, but I haven't yet convinced Magnate of this. Not that I've been making a concerted effort, mind.

Quote:

Things I really liked:
first time running into a baby chaos drake and hallucinating wildly at Dlvl 17 or so. It was punishing, but it wore off in a few rounds so wasn't totally evil. Also gave me an early taste of what the deeper bits of the dungeon might be like.
Excellent. Exactly as planned. :)

Magnate April 25, 2012 10:01

Quote:

Originally Posted by Derakon (Post 68850)
I've had similar concerns lurking in the back of my mind but never really got a chance to fully playtest a finesse character. Finesse and prowess weapons really ought to have the same average damage per round when used by appropriately-skilled characters; prowess characters maybe slightly higher due to the fact they hit less often, but not hugely so. But prowess weapons nearly universally have better dice than finesse weapons do.

If you want to go through the edit files and propose changes to the damage dice on weapons, feel free to do so.

This has been niggling at me too, but in a different direction. Finesse characters are always going to have problems with absorption, that's a design feature. The OP is right that it doesn't matter how many blows they get if the damage is always so low as to be absorbed. But upping the dice just dilutes the precious distinction between fin and prow, and is IMO the wrong solution. I think the solution lies in making the critical hit calculation asymmetric. At the moment it's fin^2 + prow^2 (all divided by a scaling constant), but I think it ought to favour finesse. Prowess crits are much more deadly, so should be rare. Finesse crits merely enable the finesse character to do a little more damage with that blow, and should be much more common.

So my first suggestion for balancing this issue would be to double or triple the contribution of finesse to the crit chance (and adjust the scalar so that the total number of crits does not increase too much).
Quote:

Incidentally, last I heard missile combat was still semi-broken, so it's sadly no real surprise that shooting things didn't work very well.
Missile combat is still using the old system, but damage shouldn't be too awful. But as soon as RL gives me a break I will adapt it to the new system and it will be splendid.
Quote:

I'm inclined to agree with you, but I haven't yet convinced Magnate of this. Not that I've been making a concerted effort, mind.
This is another of the very important changes in v4 - brands and slays are no longer quite so awesome when first found, quite deliberately so. It means they can occur earlier, and later in greater numbers and permutations. This means adjusting our perceptions a bit:

- yes, a dagger (1d4) (+0,+0) with a +25% slay against orcs is a long way short of the weakest Slay Orc dagger you'd find in V

- but a late game Scythe of Slicing with +225% against dragons and +285% against demons and +150% elec and a couple of others is going to compete very nicely with many artifacts.

So what's happened is that the range of slays and brands available has extended in both directions.

Note that slays matter slightly more for finesse characters, because they don't boost the prowess damage. The formula is dice_damage * (100 + best applicable brand/slay + prowess bonus)%. So the challenge is to avoid them becoming too powerful for finesse chars or irrelevant to prowess chars.

saarn April 25, 2012 15:39

Quote:

Originally Posted by Derakon (Post 68850)
Hmm...as part of our efforts to remove the pure-tedium gameplay of identifying everything in sight before using it, ID-by-use has been made much less punishing. To allow for this, the vast majority of bad/cursed items were removed. Thus the player is never outright slapped for daring to try using something when they don't know what it is (though of course you can still be e.g. teleported into the middle of pack of monsters).

I wonder if some of the original feel could be brought back (without being instadeath for ironman warriors) by doing things like:

for bad potions (sleep/blind) keep the duration reasonably small (say 10 turns). If you're foolish/desperate enough to take an untried potion in the middle of a fight, you might be in trouble, but you should be safe trying it in a little corridor tucked away from the scary monsters. Possibly make these less "junky" by allowing them to be thrown for their effect? I like what was done with mushrooms where they have some very interesting combinations of good and bad effects, but I think that theme is already taken.

Curses used to make weapons both junk and sticky. What if they just did one of a few things:
make the item sticky (but not bad)
reduce player speed slightly (-1 or -2)
reduce player stealth slightly
random blink (low probability)
random aggravate monster
decrease light radius (-1)
increase vulnerability to elements

Rather than a "oops, it feels deathly cold," the presence of the curse would be up to the player to figure out. And, of course, cursed items would show up as "magical".

If I were playing the game and I saw a nice weapon of Breaking Heads that would bring my damage way up, it would be possible that I would wield it and get it stuck to me. This wouldn't be instadeath, but I'd definitely be motivated to find some remove curse. At the same time, it would be enough to discourage me from unwielding a good weapon to try out a broken dagger (1,1) {splendid}.

In combination with really nice egos, some cursed weapons might even be worth keeping.

Derakon April 25, 2012 17:19

Quote:

Originally Posted by Magnate (Post 68854)
But upping the dice just dilutes the precious distinction between fin and prow, and is IMO the wrong solution. I think the solution lies in making the critical hit calculation asymmetric.

I have two concerns with this. The first is that critical hits are very opaque to the player -- they don't know what their crit chance is, how it scales, or how it affects their damage. They can kiiiiiind of guess at how significant they are based on the messages they get in combat and the changes they see to the monster's health bar, but it's a very imprecise science and Vanilla (and v4 by extension) are all about transparency these days.

The second is that balancing combat this way will require a lot of tweaking, and every tweak will require changing a number, recompiling, and then playtesting for awhile. I don't see that oscillating towards a balanced version very quickly.

The advantages of adjusting the dice, by comparison, are:

1) It makes it clear to the player that finesse characters are not being discriminated against.
2) It's far easier to balance -- we know what the proper values should be, by comparison with the prowess weapons
3) It's far easier to change -- just tweak the edit files and rerun the game. So anyone can do it.

We needn't lose variety in finesse vs. prowess weapons in this -- finesse weapons get many small dice, while prowess weapons get a few big dice. If you want to make crits more significant for finesse characters, then we can reverse that -- since crits add extra dice, having big dice is an advantage.

Quote:

- but a late game Scythe of Slicing with +225% against dragons and +285% against demons and +150% elec and a couple of others is going to compete very nicely with many artifacts.

The formula is dice_damage * (100 + best applicable brand/slay + prowess bonus) / 100%.
The practical upshot of this approach is that brands/slays give you a fixed amount of "extra dice" depending on their multiplier. E.g. a .5x brand gives you half your damage dice again when applied. That's not especially appreciable. Of course, since it's an additive effect it has more impact for finesse characters, since they get so many more blows than prowess characters do. But finesse characters have terrible damage dice, making the slays irrelevant again! Either way, slays are just not very impressive right now.

If we changed it to be

dice_damage * (100 + best applicable brand/slay) * (100 + prowess bonus) / 10000

then it'd work better. Instead of getting extra dice, your dice get an extra multiplier. A .5x brand deals 50% more damage than a "bare" blow, regardless of what your prowess bonus is. Compare:

6x 1d4 dagger blows with a 50% prowess bonus:
6 * (average dice 2.5) * (100 no slay) * (150 prowess) / 10000 = 22.5 damage/round

1.5x 1d4 club blows with a 500% prowess bonus:
1.5 * (average dice 2.5) * (100 no slay) * (600 prowess) / 10000 = 22.5

Now apply a .5x flame brand to both:

6 * 2.5 * 150 * 150 / 10000 = 33.75
1.5 * 2.5 * 150 * 600 / 10000 = 33.75

Of course, in practice your prowess character will be using a 2d8 battle axe or something instead, and will thus get much more damage, but see the earlier part of this post.

Magnate April 25, 2012 17:48

Ok, I'm convinced. On iPhone so not typing much. I agree that slays could be multiplied rather than added, which would be both fairer and more meaningful- thanks for spelling out the maths on that. Happy for ppl to change dice for fin weapons and see if that works. Crit dam is included in combat info; it's easy to show crit chance if that helps.

saarn April 26, 2012 03:09

I was thinking along similar lines re dice.

It feels to me like finesse fighters should successfully hit more frequently with less, but more consistent damage per hit. Prowess fighters should hit less frequently, with more variation in power, but higher average damage. This would work well to the different playstyles as finesse classes (mage, rogue, ranger) tend to have lower HP and want to use melee to finish monsters off and conserve ammo/mana. They want to be pretty confident they can put the final blow on a monster and not screw up. By contrast prowess characters have HP or even heal spells so a miss or relatively ineffective blow here or there is less meaningful than average power.

The other thing this would seem to argue to me is that finesse crits might do something different from prowess crits-- rather than dealing extra damage, they might merely reduce the impact of AC (well-placed blow). For lightly armored monsters, this would make prowess more effective, but it would eliminate the severe annoyance of watching my dagger bounce uselessly off a gray snake at Dlvl3.

All that said, I don't think finesse and prowess fighters should be equally good at melee. The goal should be to make finesse weapons clearly be better for finesse characters and to make melee a useful part of their combat tactics. Melee for each kind of fighter should feel distinct, just as the rest of the gameplay does.

grinder April 26, 2012 03:48

Kinda OT, sorry
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Magnate (Post 68854)
Note that slays matter slightly more for finesse characters, because they don't boost the prowess damage. The formula is dice_damage * (100 + best applicable brand/slay + prowess bonus)%. So the challenge is to avoid them becoming too powerful for finesse chars or irrelevant to prowess chars.

In attack.c lines 182 and 203, a value of 100 is assigned to "mult" and incremented by best applicable slay present, but mult doesn't seem to be used after that. Is that a remnant of previous versions that can be delete, is the calculation you describe never used or am I simply wrong here (my money would be on this one :D).

Magnate April 26, 2012 13:05

Quote:

Originally Posted by saarn (Post 68870)
The other thing this would seem to argue to me is that finesse crits might do something different from prowess crits-- rather than dealing extra damage, they might merely reduce the impact of AC (well-placed blow). For lightly armored monsters, this would make prowess more effective, but it would eliminate the severe annoyance of watching my dagger bounce uselessly off a gray snake at Dlvl3.

I think you mean it would make finesse more effective. I really like this idea, I think it's excellent. But I don't think that prowess should contribute to this kind of effect and vice versa - if we do this, then finesse shouldn't contribute to the traditional 'extra dice' crits. So we have two different crit functions, and balanced chars might see a few of both (which is nice, because we've been looking to incentivise balance, since the system naturally tempts people to go all-fin or all-prow).

I will think about this. Derakon, you like this too, right? ;-)
Quote:

All that said, I don't think finesse and prowess fighters should be equally good at melee. The goal should be to make finesse weapons clearly be better for finesse characters and to make melee a useful part of their combat tactics. Melee for each kind of fighter should feel distinct, just as the rest of the gameplay does.
Precisely. You've grasped what Derakon was aiming for with the new system, and I think we can get there.

Magnate April 26, 2012 13:15

Quote:

Originally Posted by grinder (Post 68874)
In attack.c lines 182 and 203, a value of 100 is assigned to "mult" and incremented by best applicable slay present, but mult doesn't seem to be used after that. Is that a remnant of previous versions that can be delete, is the calculation you describe never used or am I simply wrong here (my money would be on this one :D).

Ooh, thank you, you've found some cruft! The logic that calculates and applies mult has been moved out of attack.c and into calc_damage(), which is called from line 207. (It's also called from the ranged attack functions and the object info functions, hence the sense of refactoring it.)

I'll tidy up those unnecessary lines at the same time as changing the slay add logic (as described in earlier post).

Thanks again.

saarn April 26, 2012 15:28

Quote:

Originally Posted by Magnate (Post 68907)
But I don't think that prowess should contribute to this kind of effect and vice versa - if we do this, then finesse shouldn't contribute to the traditional 'extra dice' crits. So we have two different crit functions, and balanced chars might see a few of both (which is nice, because we've been looking to incentivise balance, since the system naturally tempts people to go all-fin or all-prow).

You nailed it. When you combine that with prowess weapons having few big dice, finesse weapons having many small dice, then you get the obvious balanced weapon that has roughly even dice and die size. A balanced fighter might even do more damage than a prowess fighter since they would be more likely to get both kinds of critical on the same blow. I think this would work towards guaranteeing warriors are best at melee.

The one thing that strikes me as a bit annoying is that the strong temptation for finesse weapons would be to make them mostly nd1 since a n/2 d 2 weapon will be much more varied. Is there a way we could bring back the +d or mix kinds of dice so some finesse weapons could be e.g. 1d3 + 4.

The other thought I had is that if consistency is part of the charm for finesse, it sure would be nice to highlight the variation of damage to the user-- I love being able to see how much damage my weapon will do per round (nice job whoever wrote that). Possibly "against a lightly armored opponent, most rounds you will do between xxx and yyy damage with an average damage per round of zzz" where xxx and yyy are one standard deviation away from the mean.

Magnate April 26, 2012 18:14

Quote:

Originally Posted by saarn (Post 68912)
You nailed it. When you combine that with prowess weapons having few big dice, finesse weapons having many small dice, then you get the obvious balanced weapon that has roughly even dice and die size. A balanced fighter might even do more damage than a prowess fighter since they would be more likely to get both kinds of critical on the same blow. I think this would work towards guaranteeing warriors are best at melee.

So now all we need is for Derakon to say yes, that's what I wanted all along ...
Quote:

The one thing that strikes me as a bit annoying is that the strong temptation for finesse weapons would be to make them mostly nd1 since a n/2 d 2 weapon will be much more varied. Is there a way we could bring back the +d or mix kinds of dice so some finesse weapons could be e.g. 1d3 + 4.
Wow, another good idea - come join the devteam! This would mean changing the weapon's base damage struct from a dice roll (XdY) to a random value struct (well, that's the nearest thing we have, though we wouldn't need the M-bonus component, just Z+XdY). It's not something that's ever occurred to me, but it would indeed increase the consistency of finesse weapons. Again interested to see how Derakon thinks this fits with his original vision for combat.
Quote:

The other thought I had is that if consistency is part of the charm for finesse, it sure would be nice to highlight the variation of damage to the user-- I love being able to see how much damage my weapon will do per round (nice job whoever wrote that). Possibly "against a lightly armored opponent, most rounds you will do between xxx and yyy damage with an average damage per round of zzz" where xxx and yyy are one standard deviation away from the mean.
Ugh. The more time I spend as a dev the more I understand why the Crawl people like to obfuscate the mechanics. The combat info code is a beast (the result of many contributions btw), and this would make it intolerable.

That said, I could cope with a single additional number, if we could somehow calculate the std dev (no mean feat in integer arithmetic!). "Your weapon does X damage against A, Y damage against B ..... and Z damage against normal creatures (std dev S)".

But all damage info should assume 0 absorption, otherwise we have lots of mess for little gain.

Derakon April 26, 2012 18:38

Just because I had the original idea for the combat mechanics doesn't mean I should "own" them or need to provide my blessing to changes to them. Though I will protest if I think what you're doing is a bad idea. :) That said, you wanted my input, so here it comes.

Regarding differing crits for finesse vs. prowess characters: I'm not certain I see the point. How is piercing (some amount of) absorption different from dealing (some amount of) extra damage? Or are you advocating that finesse crits should completely obviate absorption? In which case, how would we differentiate between a "good" hit and a "*GREAT*" hit? This would also seem to establish a hard cap on how much extra damage a crit gets you -- only as much as the monster has absorption, which is often a fairly small number even in the late game.

Regarding finesse damage dice: assuming we want the per-hit damage from finesse characters to be consistent, I don't think we need do anything beyond ensure that they don't generally get weapons with bigger dice than a d4 -- which we'd do anyway, since prowess weapons start picking up around about d6. For example, let's say you have a 2d4 finesse weapon and you get 4 blows per round with it with no prowess bonus. I ran 10k iterations of this and got an average damage of 19.98 with a standard deviation of 3.19 -- that's a deviation of only 15%, which is going to be barely noticeable in actual gameplay.

By comparison, prowess combat is way spikier -- misses are a huge deal there since they tend to mean you don't do any damage for the entire round, and when you hit, most of your damage comes from rolling one or two dice and then multiplying the result by a big number. My last paladin had a 1d16 great hammer with IIRC 1.6 blows/round. I was able to kill things okay, but groups were a pain due to misses, and there were definitely times when that 1d16 would roll a 1 or a 2 -- I could tell because even though I hit the monster, its healthbar didn't budge.

That said, if you really want to provide some fixed bonus to per-hit damage, I'd suggest adapting the pval syntax where you do "A + XdY MB" -- a constant bonus, A, plus the dice XdY, plus a depth-dependent extra constant bonus, B.

Finally, last I heard the plan for unbiased weapons was that they would get better dice than either finesse or prowess weapons, at the cost of having a worse critical hit rate (due to the way the crit calculations work, which favors wielding a finesse weapon as a finesse character, or vice versa) and being comparatively hard for non-warrior classes to use (since they lack either the finesse to get multiple blows, or the prowess to make those blows hurt, depending on the class). Basically the goal is that when a non-warrior finds a good sword, they'd think "This can just about compete with the gear I'd rather be using." When a warrior finds that same sword, they can go "Sweet! It's a straight-up upgrade!"

fizzix April 26, 2012 18:52

Quote:

Originally Posted by Magnate (Post 68916)
But all damage info should assume 0 absorption, otherwise we have lots of mess for little gain.

One solution is to display the damage information on the monster recall, including absorption, and only have basic information on the weapon.

Magnate April 26, 2012 18:55

Quote:

Originally Posted by Derakon (Post 68919)
Just because I had the original idea for the combat mechanics doesn't mean I should "own" them or need to provide my blessing to changes to them. Though I will protest if I think what you're doing is a bad idea. :)

That's what I was getting at - if you thought it was a bad idea, I'd be interested to know why.
Quote:

Regarding differing crits for finesse vs. prowess characters: I'm not certain I see the point. How is piercing (some amount of) absorption different from dealing (some amount of) extra damage? Or are you advocating that finesse crits should completely obviate absorption? In which case, how would we differentiate between a "good" hit and a "*GREAT*" hit? This would also seem to establish a hard cap on how much extra damage a crit gets you -- only as much as the monster has absorption, which is often a fairly small number even in the late game.
This is a fair point. My thinking was that these 'finesse crits' would be much more common - but as you say, limited by the absorption available to overcome (there's nothing to stop a recalibration of absorption so that the numbers are bigger throughout).
Quote:

Finally, last I heard the plan for unbiased weapons was that they would get better dice than either finesse or prowess weapons, at the cost of having a worse critical hit rate (due to the way the crit calculations work, which favors wielding a finesse weapon as a finesse character, or vice versa) and being comparatively hard for non-warrior classes to use (since they lack either the finesse to get multiple blows, or the prowess to make those blows hurt, depending on the class). Basically the goal is that when a non-warrior finds a good sword, they'd think "This can just about compete with the gear I'd rather be using." When a warrior finds that same sword, they can go "Sweet! It's a straight-up upgrade!"
I don't think the idea of separating crits works against this at all. If anything it moves towards that goal a little further, I think.

Your comments on variation and dice are interesting. I think moving to A + XdY (whether or not we add +MB) would help both combat styles. For finesse it would allow finer control of variation (so that it could go from ~15% right down to 0%) and for prowess it would allow protection against really weak blows (so 4+1d12 instead of 1d16).

Thanks for your thoughts. I am a little unsure of where v4 is going at the moment, as there are really only three major departures from V so far: ego items, combat and traps. So as 1/3 of the main v4 contributors, I value your views highly. We'll see what happens after 3.4 (and Pyrel!).

Derakon April 26, 2012 19:24

Quote:

Originally Posted by Magnate (Post 68921)
(there's nothing to stop a recalibration of absorption so that the numbers are bigger throughout)

It's a fair amount of rather tedious work, is the only big concern. Certainly I don't want to go through and tweak a bunch of monster records. :) Much credit to fizzix for doing the first pass, incidentally.

Quote:

Your comments on variation and dice are interesting. I think moving to A + XdY (whether or not we add +MB) would help both combat styles. For finesse it would allow finer control of variation (so that it could go from ~15% right down to 0%) and for prowess it would allow protection against really weak blows (so 4+1d12 instead of 1d16).
For what it's worth:

4x 2d4: average 19.99, standard deviation 3.17 (15.8%)
4x 3d3: average 24.03, standard deviation 2.84 (12%)
4x 3d2: average 17.98, standard deviation 1.73 (9.6%)
4x 5d1: average 20, standard deviation 0 (0%)

I'll certainly grant that being able to add a constant bonus makes the range of values more versatile. There's a certain purity to deriving everything from a roll of the dice IMO, so stylistically I don't really like the offset (and I don't think that you'd notice a 15% variation in your damage), but if you think it'd be a valuable tool, and worth the cost of implementing, then hey, go ahead.

saarn April 27, 2012 03:05

SD in integer math shouldn't be too terrible, or you could report variance which eliminates the sqrt so it's simpler. I'm thinking about a slightly different idea for taking a stab at automatically redistributing the damage dice (without a code mod-- just some perl and the weapons file).

I do code for my day job, but not sure if I would be reliably engaged enough to be on the dev team (partly because I code for my day job) :-).

Magnate April 27, 2012 10:29

Quote:

Originally Posted by saarn (Post 68948)
SD in integer math shouldn't be too terrible, or you could report variance which eliminates the sqrt so it's simpler. I'm thinking about a slightly different idea for taking a stab at automatically redistributing the damage dice (without a code mod-- just some perl and the weapons file).

I do code for my day job, but not sure if I would be reliably engaged enough to be on the dev team (partly because I code for my day job) :-).

Heh - I think takkaria, fizzix and I are pretty much the only people on the dev team who *don't* code for a day job. But yes, using code to change all the damage dice is a sensible idea, though I think you'd want some manual tweaking eventually.

The problem with reporting variance is that it's meaningless to the reader, unless they can do sqrt in their head. One alternative is to calculate upper and lower bounds (+/- 3xSD covers 98%) and report these:

Damage: X vs. A, Y vs. B .... and Z vs. normal creatures (min Z1, max Z2)

Z1 and Z2 can be calculated without sqrts.

saarn April 27, 2012 15:52

thoughts on damage dice
 
I wrote a script last night that mocks up the following algorithm:

constrain finesse weapons such that number of dice >= x *faces
constrain prowess weapons surh that number of faces >= x *dice

and then two methods for deriving "balanced" weapons (right now this is a strict average between prowess and finesse, but it would eventually be an interpolation so we could have something that was 30% finesse and 70% prowess)

method 1: take finesse and prowess number of dice and average (then solve for faces)
method 2: take finesse and prowess faces and average (then solve for dice)

Based on some pencil and paper, I think I like finesse dice >=2*faces and prowess faces >=4*dice

Here's what that gives for each average damage between 1 (broken dagger) and 50(grond).

past double pipes I have a comparison of standard deviation for each of the sets of dice:
Code:

|seed_dam|prow dice|prow dam|fin dice | fin dam|  bal_d1 |bal1 dam|  bal_d2 |b2 dam| prowsd||fin sd|bal1sd|bal2sd|
    1  |  1d  1 |  1.0  |  1d  1 |  1.0  |  1d  1 |  1.0  |  1d  1 |  1.0 ||  0.0 |  0.0|  0.0|  0.0|
    2  |  1d  3 |  2.0  |  2d  1 |  2.0  |  2d  1 |  2.0  |  1d  2 |  1.5 ||  0.8 |  0.0|  0.0|  0.5|
    3  |  1d  5 |  3.0  |  3d  1 |  3.0  |  2d  2 |  3.0  |  2d  3 |  4.0 ||  1.4 |  0.0|  0.7|  1.2|
    4  |  1d  7 |  4.0  |  4d  1 |  4.0  |  3d  2 |  4.5  |  2d  4 |  5.0 ||  2.0 |  0.0|  0.9|  1.6|
    5  |  1d  9 |  5.0  |  5d  1 |  5.0  |  3d  2 |  4.5  |  2d  5 |  6.0 ||  2.6 |  0.0|  0.9|  2.0|
    6  |  1d 11 |  6.0  |  4d  2 |  6.0  |  3d  3 |  6.0  |  2d  7 |  8.0 ||  3.2 |  1.0|  1.4|  2.8|
    7  |  1d 13 |  7.0  |  5d  2 |  7.5  |  3d  4 |  7.5  |  2d  8 |  9.0 ||  3.7 |  1.1|  1.9|  3.2|
    8  |  1d 15 |  8.0  |  5d  2 |  7.5  |  3d  4 |  7.5  |  2d  9 | 10.0 ||  4.3 |  1.1|  1.9|  3.7|
    9  |  2d  8 |  9.0  |  6d  2 |  9.0  |  4d  4 |  10.0  |  3d  5 |  9.0 ||  3.2 |  1.2|  2.2|  2.4|
    10  |  2d  9 |  10.0  |  7d  2 |  10.5  |  5d  3 |  10.0  |  3d  6 | 10.5 ||  3.7 |  1.3|  1.8|  3.0|
    11  |  2d 10 |  11.0  |  7d  2 |  10.5  |  5d  3 |  10.0  |  3d  6 | 10.5 ||  4.1 |  1.3|  1.8|  3.0|
    12  |  2d 11 |  12.0  |  6d  3 |  12.0  |  4d  5 |  12.0  |  3d  7 | 12.0 ||  4.5 |  2.0|  2.8|  3.5|
    13  |  2d 12 |  13.0  |  7d  3 |  14.0  |  5d  4 |  12.5  |  3d  8 | 13.5 ||  4.9 |  2.2|  2.5|  4.0|
    14  |  2d 13 |  14.0  |  7d  3 |  14.0  |  5d  5 |  15.0  |  3d  8 | 13.5 ||  5.3 |  2.2|  3.2|  4.0|
    15  |  2d 14 |  15.0  |  8d  3 |  16.0  |  5d  5 |  15.0  |  3d  9 | 15.0 ||  5.7 |  2.3|  3.2|  4.5|
    16  |  2d 15 |  16.0  |  8d  3 |  16.0  |  5d  5 |  15.0  |  3d  9 | 15.0 ||  6.1 |  2.3|  3.2|  4.5|
    17  |  2d 16 |  17.0  |  9d  3 |  18.0  |  6d  5 |  18.0  |  3d 10 | 16.5 ||  6.5 |  2.4|  3.5|  5.0|
    18  |  2d 17 |  18.0  |  9d  3 |  18.0  |  6d  5 |  18.0  |  3d 10 | 16.5 ||  6.9 |  2.4|  3.5|  5.0|
    19  |  2d 18 |  19.0  |  10d  3 |  20.0  |  6d  5 |  18.0  |  3d 11 | 18.0 ||  7.3 |  2.6|  3.5|  5.5|
    20  |  3d 12 |  19.5  |  8d  4 |  20.0  |  6d  6 |  21.0  |  4d  8 | 18.0 ||  6.0 |  3.2|  4.2|  4.6|
    21  |  3d 13 |  21.0  |  8d  4 |  20.0  |  6d  6 |  21.0  |  4d  9 | 20.0 ||  6.5 |  3.2|  4.2|  5.2|
    22  |  3d 14 |  22.5  |  9d  4 |  22.5  |  6d  6 |  21.0  |  4d  9 | 20.0 ||  7.0 |  3.4|  4.2|  5.2|
    23  |  3d 14 |  22.5  |  9d  4 |  22.5  |  6d  7 |  24.0  |  5d  9 | 25.0 ||  7.0 |  3.4|  4.9|  5.8|
    24  |  3d 15 |  24.0  |  10d  4 |  25.0  |  7d  6 |  24.5  |  4d 10 | 22.0 ||  7.5 |  3.5|  4.5|  5.7|
    25  |  3d 16 |  25.5  |  10d  4 |  25.0  |  7d  6 |  24.5  |  5d 10 | 27.5 ||  8.0 |  3.5|  4.5|  6.4|
    26  |  3d 16 |  25.5  |  10d  4 |  25.0  |  7d  6 |  24.5  |  5d 10 | 27.5 ||  8.0 |  3.5|  4.5|  6.4|
    27  |  3d 17 |  27.0  |  11d  4 |  27.5  |  7d  7 |  28.0  |  5d 11 | 30.0 ||  8.5 |  3.7|  5.3|  7.1|
    28  |  3d 18 |  28.5  |  11d  4 |  27.5  |  7d  7 |  28.0  |  5d 11 | 30.0 ||  9.0 |  3.7|  5.3|  7.1|
    29  |  3d 18 |  28.5  |  12d  4 |  30.0  |  8d  6 |  28.0  |  5d 11 | 30.0 ||  9.0 |  3.9|  4.8|  7.1|
    30  |  3d 19 |  30.0  |  10d  5 |  30.0  |  7d  8 |  31.5  |  5d 12 | 32.5 ||  9.5 |  4.5|  6.1|  7.7|
    31  |  3d 20 |  31.5  |  10d  5 |  30.0  |  7d  8 |  31.5  |  4d 13 | 28.0 ||  10.0 |  4.5|  6.1|  7.5|
    32  |  3d 20 |  31.5  |  11d  5 |  33.0  |  7d  8 |  31.5  |  5d 13 | 35.0 ||  10.0 |  4.7|  6.1|  8.4|
    33  |  3d 21 |  33.0  |  11d  5 |  33.0  |  7d  8 |  31.5  |  5d 13 | 35.0 ||  10.5 |  4.7|  6.1|  8.4|
    34  |  4d 16 |  34.0  |  11d  5 |  33.0  |  8d  8 |  36.0  |  6d 11 | 36.0 ||  9.2 |  4.7|  6.5|  7.7|
    35  |  4d 17 |  36.0  |  12d  5 |  36.0  |  8d  8 |  36.0  |  6d 11 | 36.0 ||  9.8 |  4.9|  6.5|  7.7|
    36  |  4d 17 |  36.0  |  12d  5 |  36.0  |  8d  8 |  36.0  |  6d 11 | 36.0 ||  9.8 |  4.9|  6.5|  7.7|
    37  |  4d 18 |  38.0  |  12d  5 |  36.0  |  8d  8 |  36.0  |  6d 12 | 39.0 ||  10.4 |  4.9|  6.5|  8.5|
    38  |  4d 18 |  38.0  |  13d  5 |  39.0  |  9d  7 |  36.0  |  6d 12 | 39.0 ||  10.4 |  5.1|  6.0|  8.5|
    39  |  4d 19 |  40.0  |  13d  5 |  39.0  |  9d  8 |  40.5  |  6d 12 | 39.0 ||  11.0 |  5.1|  6.9|  8.5|
    40  |  4d 19 |  40.0  |  13d  5 |  39.0  |  9d  8 |  40.5  |  6d 12 | 39.0 ||  11.0 |  5.1|  6.9|  8.5|
    41  |  4d 20 |  42.0  |  14d  5 |  42.0  |  9d  8 |  40.5  |  6d 13 | 42.0 ||  11.5 |  5.3|  6.9|  9.2|
    42  |  4d 20 |  42.0  |  12d  6 |  42.0  |  8d 10 |  44.0  |  6d 13 | 42.0 ||  11.5 |  5.9|  8.1|  9.2|
    43  |  4d 21 |  44.0  |  12d  6 |  42.0  |  8d 10 |  44.0  |  6d 14 | 45.0 ||  12.1 |  5.9|  8.1|  9.9|
    44  |  4d 21 |  44.0  |  13d  6 |  45.5  |  9d  9 |  45.0  |  6d 14 | 45.0 ||  12.1 |  6.2|  7.7|  9.9|
    45  |  4d 22 |  46.0  |  13d  6 |  45.5  |  9d  9 |  45.0  |  6d 14 | 45.0 ||  12.7 |  6.2|  7.7|  9.9|
    46  |  4d 22 |  46.0  |  13d  6 |  45.5  |  9d  9 |  45.0  |  6d 14 | 45.0 ||  12.7 |  6.2|  7.7|  9.9|
    47  |  4d 23 |  48.0  |  13d  6 |  45.5  |  9d  9 |  45.0  |  6d 15 | 48.0 ||  13.3 |  6.2|  7.7|  10.6|
    48  |  4d 23 |  48.0  |  14d  6 |  49.0  |  9d 10 |  49.5  |  6d 15 | 48.0 ||  13.3 |  6.4|  8.6|  10.6|
    49  |  4d 24 |  50.0  |  14d  6 |  49.0  |  9d 10 |  49.5  |  6d 15 | 48.0 ||  13.8 |  6.4|  8.6|  10.6|
    50  |  4d 24 |  50.0  |  14d  6 |  49.0  |  9d 10 |  49.5  |  6d 15 | 48.0 ||  13.8 |  6.4|  8.6|  10.6|

What do you all think?

saarn April 27, 2012 16:00

Quote:

Originally Posted by Magnate (Post 68958)
The problem with reporting variance is that it's meaningless to the reader, unless they can do sqrt in their head. One alternative is to calculate upper and lower bounds (+/- 3xSD covers 98%) and report these:

I think maybe rather than reporting SD (who plays angband to do stats?), it might be better to show:

with this weapon, you will [very|somewhat] [consistently|erratically] deal 12.8 damage on average.

the lookup could be based on sd of the damage dice / average damage from the device which should give a nice slider and could be precomputed. . .

saarn April 28, 2012 04:43

1 Attachment(s)
Attaching the dice rebalancing script and results of running it against current object.txt

The rebalancing function has a bias that finesse weapons should do about one more damage. Interestingly, relatively few weapons got mucked with. Rapiers and daggers and short swords definitely look more powerful.

I'm going to give this a try and see how it feels.

Edit: dagger is overpowered-- ranger can run around on dlvl 1 and 2 and squash everything without thinking, mean looking mercenaries get mutilated :-/. Problem seems to be that +1 boost to average damage for a dagger is way too much-- I'm looking into doing something proportional to average damage to boost finesse weapons now.

Magnate April 28, 2012 08:24

Quote:

Originally Posted by saarn (Post 68995)
Attaching the dice rebalancing script and results of running it against current object.txt

The rebalancing function has a bias that finesse weapons should do about one more damage. Interestingly, relatively few weapons got mucked with. Rapiers and daggers and short swords definitely look more powerful.

I'm going to give this a try and see how it feels.

Edit: dagger is overpowered-- ranger can run around on dlvl 1 and 2 and squash everything without thinking, mean looking mercenaries get mutilated :-/. Problem seems to be that +1 boost to average damage for a dagger is way too much.

Yes - look at it in percentage terms - that's a 33% increase.

I like your algorithm, but I think you need to avoid using d1. Dagger, main gauche and rapier are all overpowered as d1s, but 2d2 / 1d3 / 3d2 would be fine. The changes to the higher weapons are all good.

Now we have a problem that rapier, short sword and cutlass would all be 3d2. One of them can switch to 2d3 (probably short sword), but we still want to distinguish the other two. Maybe 4d1 for the rapier would be a nice exception to the no-d1 rule, since it's the most extreme finesse weapon.

EDIT: but the problem with the dagger is not just the 33% increase in average damage, it's the 100% increase in minimum damage. Putting the rapier at 4d1 is only a 33% increase over 3d2, so shouldn't be quite so bad.

saarn April 28, 2012 17:12

One of the things I liked about using d1's is that the dice stack up so that a finesse weapon is visibly different from a prowess or a balanced weapon. Is there a strong reason if these aren't getting the average damage jacked to avoid that? I'm playing with a slightly different boost that puts dagger back down to 3d1 and it feels more normal now.

The motivation for that +1 was that there seemed to be some agreement that finesse weapons were nerfed (small dice, small damage) so this was a (failed) stab at making them better on average. Looking through the weapons though, it seems like the problem is not the dice so much as that there doesn't seem to be such a thing as a pure finesse weapon more powerful than the rapier until you get up to the glaive which is probably too heavy for most finesse characters.

I'm wondering if it might make sense instead to rename the current rapier to a "dress sword" or "smallsword" and add in another bigger brother slot for the rapier at a level of damage consistent with things like the katana and broad sword.

Edit:

I'm testing this out a bit-- it looks like this fills in the gaps better. With a lvl 1 hobbit thief with tons of dex I get:
Dagger 3d1 7.4/round
Short Sword 3d2 9.5 /round
Dress Sword 5d1 12.8 /round
Broad Sword 2d5 12.9 /round
Trident 4d2 14.6/round
Broad Axe 2d6 13.7/round
Bastard Sword 3d4 16.5/round
Katana 5d3 24.4/round
Rapier 7d2 25.7/round
Zweihander 3d6 19.6/round
Glaive 6d2 22.7/round (this seems off-- possibly should be bigger and be less finesse?)

At most of the damage points, there should now be a similarly powerful finesse weapon to the balanced or prow weapons.

By the way, katanas seem out of whack-- they are very powerful and very light at a relatively low dlvl. Do they even really fit in with middle earth?

Derakon April 28, 2012 21:16

Quote:

Originally Posted by saarn (Post 69018)
One of the things I liked about using d1's is that the dice stack up so that a finesse weapon is visibly different from a prowess or a balanced weapon. Is there a strong reason if these aren't getting the average damage jacked to avoid that? I'm playing with a slightly different boost that puts dagger back down to 3d1 and it feels more normal now.

I don't really like d1s because IMO no weapon should always deal the same damage on every blow. We had a similar issue with the old Great Hammers which were 8d1 weapons; it's just weird to think about. A weapon that always deals the same damage no matter what should be something like a taser, where it doesn't matter where you hit the enemy or how "hard" you hit them because the only thing that matters is that you hit them at all. As soon as you introduce actual physical combat with hitting people and so on, you have to consider where the enemy is hit, how much power was behind the blow, and so on, and the die roll should vary to suit that -- a good die roll is like a miniature critical hit, and a bad die roll is an almost-miss.

Mikko Lehtinen April 28, 2012 21:27

Quote:

Originally Posted by saarn (Post 69018)
Dress Sword 5d1 12.8 /round

How about calling it Foil? I think it sounds better, and more players have some idea what the weapon looks like.

I'm aware that small-sword or dress sword are historically more accurate names. Wikipedia: "The modern foil is descended from the training weapon for the small-sword, the common sidearm of 18th century gentleman."

saarn April 28, 2012 21:47

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mikko Lehtinen (Post 69030)
How about calling it Foil? I think it sounds better, and more players have some idea what the weapon looks like.

I'm aware that small-sword or dress sword are historically more accurate names. Wikipedia: "The modern foil is descended from the training weapon for the small-sword, the common sidearm of 18th century gentleman."

My concern with "foil" is that they are blunted and strictly for training.

What about calling it a Colichemarde?

(again from Wikipedia)
This sword appeared at about the same time as the foil. However the foil was created for practicing fencing at court, while the colichemarde was created for dueling. A descendant of the colichemarde is the épée, a modern fencing weapon.
With the appearance of the pocket pistol as a self-defense weapon, the colichemardes found an even more extensive use in dueling.

Mikko Lehtinen April 28, 2012 21:55

Yeah, maybe Foil is a bad name.

To me, Colichemarde sounds too exotic. I've never heard that word before.

How about Thinsword? It's a fictional word with no historical baggage.

Mikko Lehtinen April 28, 2012 21:59

Of course it doesn't have to be a sword. Some other possible names for finesse weapons:

Handaxe
Kukri
Light Hammer
Light Mace
Sickle

saarn April 28, 2012 22:15

Quote:

Originally Posted by Derakon (Post 69028)
A weapon that always deals the same damage no matter what should be something like a taser, where it doesn't matter where you hit the enemy or how "hard" you hit them because the only thing that matters is that you hit them at all.

Fair point. I was partially hoping that the critical system might add enough randomness to compensate. It feels like the alternatives are:

* make early finesse weapons look a bit more like balance weapons
* make the mid-level finesse weapon a bit beefier (bump from 5d1 to 4d2)
* put +D back in (so the mid level weapon might be 2d2+2 and daggers might be 1d2 +1).

I don't have a strong sense of which of these is better-- I can see pros/cons for each.

saarn April 28, 2012 22:23

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mikko Lehtinen (Post 69032)
Yeah, maybe Foil is a bad name.

To me, Colichemarde sounds too exotic. I've never heard that word before.

How about Thinsword? It's a fictional word with no historical baggage.

Not sure I buy the objection-- Angband has Zweihanders, Lochaber Axes, Tulwars, and Caestus which probably aren't part of normal vocabulary either. Epee is a bit more common and I believe they existed as actual dueling weapons for a while, so that could be a reasonable option.

Or just a Dueling Sword (pretty clear what that is, but doesn't sound nearly as cool).

Derakon April 28, 2012 23:04

Epee sounds good to me.

I do suspect that the total damage on finesse weapons needs to be bumped up. 4d2 would be fine for a mid-range finesse weapon.

saarn April 29, 2012 01:23

1 Attachment(s)
Attaching modified object.txt based on feedback thus far.

I'm playing with a 4d2 epee now, and it feels pretty good (I can fight snagas effectively with a lvl 10 character but I'm not splatting them), except that for hill orcs, almost every blow does no damage.

Armor rating for hill orcs is 6, so each blow will do on average (1*(8-6) + 4*(7-6))/16) = 6/16 points of damage. At about 2.5 blows per round the average dent I put in them will be roughly 1. Against an Uruk with armor 10, I would do exactly 0 damage per round. You can't really choose not to fight orcs, so this is where I was going by suggesting that finesse have a roll for avoiding or reducing armor with relatively high odds of success since the armor bonus is effectively by the number of blows.

The alternatives I could see would be to make finesse boost crits, or to make finesse weapons really powerful, but I could see both of those leading to some weird behavior by warriors. I could also imagine just making the armor bonus be applied per round of combat rather than per blow dealt. That doesn't really make logical sense but I could see it being a reasonable game mechanic.

Derakon April 29, 2012 02:45

We're still figuring out what reasonable numbers for absorption are. Initially the baseline absorption for all monsters was 1, which was really quite hard on young finesse characters (those values are now 0).

It sounds like the numbers need another pass. Feel free to go through and tweak them to what you think is reasonable.

saarn April 29, 2012 03:10

I don't have a feel for how the mid - end game damage works yet, but I'm thinking that maybe capping armor at Dlvl /5 would work ok. Morgoth's armor is only 10, though Sauron's is 20. This would bring Uruk armor down to 4 which would still mean that a finesse character would do about half damage. You would still need some sort of magic or very good weapon to dent a Mature dragon (8 armor) or an ancient one (9). I can probably put this together by sometime tomorrow and we can see, but you're clearly a better player than I am, so if you see something that's going to break because of this (like maybe finesse characters start to do 20 per blow because of good egos around dlvl 50 and this would needlessly nerf deeper mobs) I'd love to know.

From some brief scanning, it looks like the most armored monster is Glaurung with 40 at Dlvl79. This would cap his armor at 20.

Derakon April 29, 2012 04:36

If I had better ideas of how the armor would work out, I'd probably have mentioned them already. :) It's a complicated issue that depends on a lot of factors, so it's just going to take some tweaking and playtesting.

Remember though that it's expected that finesse characters have trouble with certain opponents because of their high absorption. Just like my last prowess character was tearing his hair out every time he encountered phase spiders. So don't nerf everything. Particularly the golems should be borderline impossible to take down -- and if finesse characters react to uruks the same way prowess characters react to phase spiders, that's probably a good thing (that is, a doable, but difficult challenge).

saarn April 29, 2012 06:03

rejiggered monster armor
 
1 Attachment(s)
I rebalanced the monsters based on the following:

in general, monsters should have no more than max(4,dlvl /4 armor)

golems may have dlvl/2 armor and must have at least dlvl/4 armor
people and humanoids must have at least dlvl/20 armor (no way anyone is hat
deep without some sort of armor).
dragons, giants, and trolls have dlvl/10 min armor or at least 3 (things like baby multi-hued dragons were unarmored which seemed whacky).

hill orcs are now tough but possible to kill with an epee, and I can kill about 1 uruk with a rapier before being in trouble at Clvl 13.

Clay golem takes a beating, but is killable, iron golem is totally untouchable which is how I remember him.

Mikko Lehtinen April 29, 2012 07:27

Quote:

Originally Posted by saarn (Post 69036)
Epee is a bit more common and I believe they existed as actual dueling weapons for a while, so that could be a reasonable option.

Epee is perfect! One definition: "A rapier with a three-sided blade and a sharpened tip (when used in the sport of fencing, there is a guard over the tip)."

In Wikipedia it was called Épée, which looked a bit too fancy to me.

Magnate April 29, 2012 22:28

Thanks for your efforts - I've pushed both your dice changes and your monster changes to v4 so that they can be tested more widely. It's just building now.

saarn April 29, 2012 23:15

Cool! I have been playing for about 15 years and this is the first time I've been in the game :-).

I've played a few thieves as finesse fighters (low int/str, high dex/con) and at least for the first 20 dungeon levels things feel good to me. Depending on feedback I'd be happy to share the manipulation scripts I made. One thing I should point out is that I didn't touch artifacts, so they probably still need attention. I could port my dice balancing script to support the artifacts file, but I don't think I'm a good enough player to do the playtesting on them.

Edit: and I introduced a typo (grrr). Description for epee says "an etremely sharp point".

saarn April 30, 2012 03:44

Wow, stuff gets very scary past DLVL30, almost like a step function.

I had FA, rShards, 4 basic resists, see invisible, a sweet artifact weapon (main gauche of Maedhros), staff of teleport, and I still got pounded at DLVL 35.

I don't remember things being that evil before. Yikes.


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