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-   -   Mage OP (http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthread.php?t=10807)

Nick June 25, 2021 04:40

Mage OP
 
It has become apparent (thanks MITZE) that end-game mages are too powerful. Specifically, they have too much ability to control the dungeon and line-of-sight, with the main spell culprits being:
  • Door Creation - immediately block line of sight from everything, works perfectly provided there is no adjacent monster.
  • Dimension Door - Controlled teleport precisely to wherever you like on the level (including vaults, although landing is randomised slightly there).
  • Banishment - Remove all non-unique monsters of a given symbol (eg all hounds) from the level, at an average cost of 2.5HP per monster removed.
  • Mass Banishment - Remove all non-unique monsters from a 20-grid radius around the player, at an average cost of 2HP per monster.
Each of these is individually quite powerful; in combination they mean a mage with end-game hitpoints is almost unkillable. The pattern of play is enter a level; mass banish (so no immediate danger) and rest; banish everything annoying or dangerous or with no drops (Z, Q, v, M (don't need cash now), a, A, b, B, c, C, ...), resting where necessary; detect monsters, decide which ones to kill; teleport to convenient position near monster; kill monster, using doors and dimension door to avoid danger; dimension door to any possible interesting floor objects; go to new level and repeat.

Possibly Teleport Other could be included here, but mages don't have a huge advantage over other classes there.

While the general idea of mages is they are difficult to start but as a tradeoff get powerful late, the current situation seems to be overdoing it. So I have some plans for adjustment to these spells:
  • Door Creation: only place doors in grids which have two or more walls in cardinal directions.
  • Banishment (both types): for each monster banished, rather than removing a small number of hitpoints, have a (very) small chance of draining each stat.
  • Dimension Door: A couple of possibilities, in order of my preference:
    1. Reduce the range to a small number of grids (around 5), increase the mana cost substantially, and make it use no energy, so it's effectively instantaneous.
    2. More boringly, reduce that range to about 15 grids and make it less accurate.
Opinions?

Sky June 25, 2021 06:17

will it affect 4.1.3?
no?

ok then.





Nick, i've seen this situation before. Something is obviously too strong, so one tries to nerf it in a way that makes it not too strong.

The problem is that you can't have that. You can't have something that's both too strong and not too strong.

Example: stat draining?
will sustains work? Doesn't even matter. Vigour, !AUG or rods of restoration. They are everywhere. Me, as the player, will always try to use the tools given me in an as-effective way as they can be used.
Are you gonna then nerf the restoration rods to make then non-abusable? Nerf mushrooms?

Another is that you've made it impossible to use MBan from outside a vault. I can break the vault with WoD, or, i can simply pull everything our and WoD it.

Just accept that a mage who survives to CL42 has won the game, that's it.

NCountr June 25, 2021 06:30

To each his/her own?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Nick (Post 153964)
It has become apparent (thanks MITZE) that end-game mages are too powerful.
  • Door Creation - immediately block line of sight from everything, works perfectly provided there is no adjacent monster.
  • Dimension Door - Controlled teleport precisely to wherever you like on the level (including vaults, although landing is randomised slightly there).
  • Banishment - Remove all non-unique monsters of a given symbol (eg all hounds) from the level, at an average cost of 2.5HP per monster removed.
  • Mass Banishment - Remove all non-unique monsters from a 20-grid radius around the player, at an average cost of 2HP per monster.
Each of these is individually quite powerful; in combination they mean a mage with end-game hitpoints is almost unkillable. The pattern of play is enter a level; mass banish (so no immediate danger) and rest; banish everything annoying or dangerous or with no drops (Z, Q, v, M (don't need cash now), a, A, b, B, c, C, ...), resting where necessary; detect monsters, decide which ones to kill; teleport to convenient position near monster; kill monster, using doors and dimension door to avoid danger; dimension door to any possible interesting floor objects; go to new level and repeat.
Opinions?

Sounds like you want to scrub the Mage class. It is my opinion that mages are far less fun (in 4.x) than they used to be in 3.x. There are some things I like - the re-work of mage books has been desperately needed and I'm glad someone took the time & effort to do that. I just don't agree with all of it.

Splitting out all the spell casters into more unique groups has its good and bad points; I don't care that mages no longer get Stinking Cloud, e.g. I don't mind that Cure Light Wounds is gone. That never really should have been a mage spell to begin with. But more Mage-ish spells seem to be missing from 4.x than necessary. I'm still waiting for the day when Wiz-Lock will return to Basic Spells---so I can lock a door magically, deterring all but the strongest of Mobs from breaking it (akin to a Rune of Protection, but on a physical door). I think that was in the Mage class pre-3.x.

Anyway, the current mage class in 4.x is fine for what it is. If you want to start curbing the Mage class, I think there are plenty of points to tackle in all classes, not just the Mages. How hard is it to slice & dice through most mobs as a Warrior, say, with a premium weapon, 6x or more swings in a round; hardly any but the most elite mobs and uniques will be a concern, especially if one has a number of Immunities and decent stealth. Who cares what mages do to the dungeon? Warriors can clean house better than most. I don't hear many gripes about that or making it tougher for those classes. Mages seem to be easy targets for gripes since many (from older days) are most familiar with them.

Here's an idea -- code up those changes as you like, but place them in the Birth Options menu. Don't default them please. I have my ways of enjoying the game, I'm not sure I would want someone else dictating How I'm supposed to play my mages from here on. Thank you.

ewert June 25, 2021 10:55

As a single player game, every class should be observed also by itself. IE. is it fun, is there a style of play, is there a plan for the power curve, etc.

Mage's are control and selected killing. Have not yet played high end mage in current version to see what the end game dmg is like, but usually in the past, it has been nowhere near what warriors / rangers managed to put out whether it be melee or ranged.

Specific spells you raised up:
Door Creation, I kinda agree with the other reply to make it work only with corridors, not in an open room. It just slightly tweaks it from LoS at any time to LoS in corridors. Just have it create a door where the spot has walls on opposing sides.
Dimension Door, haven't played with it yet, usually these spells are just targeted Phase Doors in many games, don't see why it would be a full controlled teleport. Should follow all normal vault teleport rules.
Banish and Mass Banish, just let them be. I don't see why one would mess with these. Doesn't give you xp, and most classes if they want can just TO clear vaults anyways as long as you play careful. Mages are just the best at it...

Sky June 25, 2021 11:33

mage's ranged dmg is going to be 400 minus fail rate.

rangers will pretty much always top 700, in some cases far more.

warriors go from 500 to .. well ... http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=24517

Nick doesn't understand that once you get to *this* level, the game is over - it's just a matter of administration. You run Angband, you do your job, get a few hundred thou XP, take a break.
There is no dying. There's no dying when you got TO, TS, *Fire, *Destroy, *Heal, Life, TL, 500+ DPS, all class sustains, 1000hp and +30 base Spd.

(here is my POST-FIGHT inventory)
b) 40 Potions of Cure Critical Wounds
c) 9 Potions of Cure Critical Wounds
d) 21 Potions of Healing
e) 15 Potions of *Healing*
f) 2 Potions of Life

Voovus June 25, 2021 12:33

Nick, I don't think the problem is with the mage but with late-game Angband. (I'll try to write something precise about this in the next few days.) As things stand, Banishment/Mass Banishment are possibly the best reasons for me to play a mage - they shorten the late game.

Pete Mack June 25, 2021 16:23

@Sky
In 4.2, late game paladins are also crazy strong--even more so than in previous versions. Single combat allowz very good control of the battle space, though not to the extent of Mage.
And then there are blackguards.

Nick--
If you want to stop cheese from Dimension Door and Create Doors, there's a pretty straightforward answer:
Allow Morgoth to use Mana Storm to destroy the doors, and do indirect damage to the character.

archolewa June 25, 2021 17:11

Caveat: Mages are very much *not* my preferred playstyle, so I don't know how much my opinion matters.

I think I have some sympathy here for Nick's concerns. I've only gotten one Mage to the endgame, and I honestly didn't find it as fun as I expected. Mass Banishing a vault was exciting the first time, but got kinda dull the tenth time. Banishing hounds and vortices made me *so happy* the first few times I did it, but after that it just sort of became clerical work. I was so bored that when I got killed by Wiruin, my reaction was "Oh." as opposed to the normal frustration I experience when I get one-shot being stupid.

However, I'm not really sure that any of Nick's proposed nerfs really solve the problem I encountered. Draining stats might make Mass Banishment more annoying to use (or it might not as Sky pointed out), but I don't think it changes the fundamental draw of Mass Banishment. Personally, I think Mass Banishment needs some sort of dungeon-based downside *other* than hurting the player.

*Destruction* is a good example of a powerful Delete spell done right. It wipes out all the enemies on the screen but it also removes the loot. So players have to be careful about when they use it if they want to pick up any nearby stuff.

Can we do something similar with Mass Banishment? Like, could it just straight up delete the walls around you, and wakes up anything nearby that didn't get banished? Sure, you just cleared most of a vault, but now you're standing in a wide open space with Huan, the Tarrasque and Maeglin all glaring at you. Now, if you want to MBan a vault, you first need to sneak in and TO away all the uniques.

Similarly, Banishment could delete the walls close to the enemies you banished. Sure, you can banish all those Hounds, but now you have far fewer options for LOS manipulation.

This plus the nerf to Create Doors, might give you some interesting decisions to make.

tangar June 25, 2021 17:33

for turn-based mode - there are too much escapes indeed.. but in Tangaria it doesn't really hurt as you need react in zeitnot mode - and you won't remember all the time all this options :) so I'll say current V mage is well-balanced for my variant (multiplayer semi-real time), while in V it a bit OP

wobbly June 25, 2021 19:31

I agree with nerfing dimension door (too reliable/powerful) and would not be bothered by nerfs/changes to create door which is a silly spell anyway. I think my opinion of Banishment cheese is boring players will always play boring and people who want to play interesting will find ways to keep things interesting. I dislike the idea of a stat drain mechanic unless you particularly like annoying people.


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