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-   -   4.2 design discussion (http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthread.php?t=9306)

Derakon March 7, 2019 23:00

4.2 design discussion
 
Prompted by Hounded's post in another thread:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hounded (Post 136541)
I confess I am weary of seeing this title at the top of the forum every day (There I go, adding to the popularity by responding to it). Perhaps I am too polite for Tangars taste but the title feels combative.

Is there any way the genuine feedback discussion(s) can be pulled into the development discussions thread rather than fueling this one?

Let's have this thread for general discussion of what specifically should change about Angband prior to the 4.2 main release. The main content changes are new classes and monsters; what is good about those? What needs to be looked at more closely/reworked/thrown out? What are we overlooking that needs to be addressed?

PowerWyrm March 8, 2019 08:18

Single Combat has to go away. It's stupidly OP. Every character is able to outlive Morgoth by simply spamming heals to counter any spell or melee damage he could deal. Feels like cheating to win the game that way. This should be replaced by a penalty to any other mob in LOS when fighting an enemy one on one.

Thraalbee March 8, 2019 11:00

For those who want an overview of the new monster distrubution and full info, my quick hack is quite convenient. It has a graph and a table feature, the latter also allows for export direct to excel if you need graphs and stuff too.

To use it you need a copy of monster_base.txt and monster.txt, you start by uploading these.

https://thraalbee.azurewebsites.net/monview/

Thraalbee March 10, 2019 19:27

Game is harder (good) but mages are the new "easy mode"
 
I've been playing the nightlies for a while now. My typical ironman style. Tried melee, then ranged as rogue and ranger. Normally these are not that hard to get going, but I have been struggling more than usual. Looking at it that feels reasonable, lot's of boosted monsters and several new nasty ones.

Then, sick of losing, just for the heck of it I rolled up a high elf mage. I tend to suck at mages but it couldn't very well go worse. But here comes the surprise, the mage is now the "easy mode". At least for in the early levels, it used to be the other way around. Spellpower is plenty, fail rates low, recharging is reliable and powerful, device skill boost is big, xp from some spells gives you another level ...

First character still lives (at 2450', level 34) and that is certainly not due to lucky drops, first decent drop for the mage was in 1300' when I got a decent but far from stellar stat boost resistance shield. Third book found at 2250'

Turn Depth Note
0 0' Began the quest to destroy Morgoth.
969 50' Reached level 2
1817 100' Killed Fang, Farmer Maggot's Dog
1817 100' Reached level 3
2022 100' Reached level 4
2370 100' Reached level 5
3835 200' Reached level 6
3981 200' Reached level 7
4484 200' Killed Grip, Farmer Maggot's Dog
5563 250' Reached level 8
7120 300' Killed Bullroarer the Hobbit
7120 300' Reached level 9
8895 450' Reached level 10
9535 800' Reached level 11
9536 800' Reached level 12
9986 800' Killed Ufthak of Cirith Ungol
9986 800' Reached level 13
10413 800' Reached level 14
11364 800' Reached level 15
13036 850' Reached level 16
15173 900' Reached level 17
15721 900' Reached level 18
16076 900' Reached level 19
16398 900' Reached level 20
17854 1000' Reached level 21
19767 1100' Reached level 22
21949 1200' Killed Angamaitė of Umbar
22305 1200' Reached level 23
24114 1200' Killed Gorbag, the Orc Captain
26050 1200' Reached level 24
27820 1300' Killed Khīm, Son of Mīm
27878 1300' Found the Small Metal Shield of Brinor
28225 1300' Reached level 25
30160 1350' Killed Orfax, Son of Boldor
30974 1400' Killed Wormtongue, Agent of Saruman
31670 1500' Reached level 26
... [cut]

Nick March 10, 2019 21:11

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thraalbee (Post 136590)
I've been playing the nightlies for a while now. My typical ironman style. Tried melee, then ranged as rogue and ranger. Normally these are not that hard to get going, but I have been struggling more than usual. Looking at it that feels reasonable, lot's of boosted monsters and several new nasty ones.

Then, sick of losing, just for the heck of it I rolled up a high elf mage. I tend to suck at mages but it couldn't very well go worse. But here comes the surprise, the mage is now the "easy mode". At least for in the early levels, it used to be the other way around. Spellpower is plenty, fail rates low, recharging is reliable and powerful, device skill boost is big, xp from some spells gives you another level ...

That's interesting; it's great to get some data on how the game is currently playing. I am finding my main obstacle to playtesting is dying :)

Checking spell XP is one thing that needs doing - sounds like mages probably need it reduced a little. Also recharging may be OP.

wobbly March 11, 2019 08:14

So haven't tried the latest, so maybe already changed, but last time I tried a paladin minor healing was scaling up too high on the paladin. It does x or a % of hps right? Well for end game paladins that ends up a lot for such a cheap spell, possibly gets as high as the heal spell.

PowerWyrm March 11, 2019 08:18

Yes, if it didn't change since the comp 216 sprintthroughs Minor Healing is quite OP since it allows you to restore a lot of hps for nothing. Basically you don't need resting at all since you'll regen those lost sp in one turn.

Nick March 30, 2019 00:08

Still working on artifacts, with vague input from this thread - again, any opinions welcome.

The one thing that is obvious to me from playing is that the 'thancs are way overpowered. After working out how they got to be this way (via this thread, and other places), I decided to deal with things as they are rather than trying to re-litigate past decisions. So the plan is to keep their current (+9, +12), but reduce them to 1d4.

Any comments on how randarts are playing now are also most welcome.

Derakon March 30, 2019 01:01

I think the 'thancs are probably doomed to either have one subset of the playerbase consider them to be "not interesting", or another subset to consider them to be overpowered. Such is the fate of early artifacts. :)

Gwarl March 30, 2019 12:46

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nick (Post 137199)
Still working on artifacts, with vague input from this thread - again, any opinions welcome.

The one thing that is obvious to me from playing is that the 'thancs are way overpowered. After working out how they got to be this way (via this thread, and other places), I decided to deal with things as they are rather than trying to re-litigate past decisions. So the plan is to keep their current (+9, +12), but reduce them to 1d4.

Any comments on how randarts are playing now are also most welcome.

We had thancs in the poslikes, the original 1d4 with (+3,+6) was underwhelming. Previous attempts to buff them included giving them +1 speed and a random higher resist. I copied the Vanilla values and they were indeed rather OP. I eventually settled on (+6,+9) and 2d5 (every weapon in composband got +1 or +2 ds when I forked from poscheng).

Personally I'd rather see a reduction in the to_h and to_d and keep the dd, because dice and brands are a more interesting mechanic than to_d, where in the latter case the weapon damage kind of pales into insignificance and the number of attacksto leverage the to_d is king. Which is IMO a problem in V combat generally. More emphasis on dd and ds makes more more varied combat and potentially more interesting weapon choices as it allows brands to shine and decreases emphasis on blows/round.

IMO

Nick March 30, 2019 21:26

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gwarl (Post 137215)
Personally I'd rather see a reduction in the to_h and to_d and keep the dd, because dice and brands are a more interesting mechanic than to_d, where in the latter case the weapon damage kind of pales into insignificance and the number of attacksto leverage the to_d is king. Which is IMO a problem in V combat generally. More emphasis on dd and ds makes more more varied combat and potentially more interesting weapon choices as it allows brands to shine and decreases emphasis on blows/round.

I tend to think similarly, but had two reasons for going the other way:
  1. I thought the brand damage rather and the overall damage were both problems and
  2. I had just read the discussion prior when they were buffed, and there was a general move to give artifacts higher pusses because they can easily just get enchanted up anyway.

After a second think, I think I was probably wrong on the first count, and that the game has changed sufficiently that the second one is less of an issue. So I might go with 2d4 (+6,+9) or similar.

You've also made me think about the whole question of plusses vs. dice. Here is a suggestion:
  • Rebalance weapons to put more in dice and less in + to-hit and to-dam
  • Rework the enchant mechanic a bit so that plusses don't get as high, probably by just cutting off the chance of enchantment at +12 or even +10 - which also reduces the silly "enchant, rest for mana, repeat" game for priests and paladins.

This is a decent-sized change - what do people think?

Pete Mack March 30, 2019 21:47

In 3.0, it was +4,+6, and with difficulty you might enchant it to +9,+9. +12 was right out. In the new era of rare enchantment scrolls, +7,+7 is a more likely max, before something better shows up

Derakon March 31, 2019 00:43

Reworking enchantments so that huge pluses (>15? Maybe >20?) are uncommon or nonexistent seems worthy of consideration. I don't have strong opinions on it at the moment, though.

IMO the permanent enchantment spells need to go. They encourage boring play and make it harder to balance the game. In the past everyone had that problem, because enchantment scrolls were sold in stores; now it's just priests. I'm sure we can find a worthwhile spell to replace them with. Maybe a super-heroism spell? *shrug*

As for the 'thancs, and artifacts in general, I think it's more special to find an artifact that does something that ordinary weapons can't do than it is to find an artifact that's just better than an ordinary weapon. In that lens, the big problem the thancs had was that they were literally just branded daggers that activated for an elemental bolt. The activation isn't bad, but it's not enough to distinguish them.

A thanc dagger that was 3d4 (+0,+0), say, is effectively a super-lightweight branded bastard sword, which is an effect that is completely unavailable otherwise. Its average damage would be 22.5/blow vs. nonresistant enemies, which is most of them in the early game where the thancs are at all relevant.

You could also have the thancs activate for an elemental bolt plus some other effect, like Shield (+50 AC), temporary ESP, Confuse Monster, etc. The goal isn't necessarily to make their power output such that they remain useful for a long time, so much as it is to make them memorable so they stand out compared to the ego items you'd otherwise be using at this stage in the game.

takkaria March 31, 2019 01:01

An idea I always liked around damage was to make the max normal enchantment of weapons a function of their dice. So daggers would be unlikely to be found at more than +4 to-d (and enchantment would be harder too), whereas broad swords could get to +10. I think UnAngband might have something like this.

Mondkalb March 31, 2019 08:15

Quote:

Originally Posted by takkaria (Post 137237)
An idea I always liked around damage was to make the max normal enchantment of weapons a function of their dice. So daggers would be unlikely to be found at more than +4 to-d (and enchantment would be harder too), whereas broad swords could get to +10. I think UnAngband might have something like this.

That sounds interesting. It would also make it unlikely to find supposedly "good" weapons, like a "whip of slay giants +11/+22", which are never really useful, except in the very early game.

Gwarl March 31, 2019 13:21

I have toyed with the idea on innate accuracy penalties and bonuses and innate damage bonuses (i.e. on {average} weapons) that would then be cumulative to the bonuses on {good} and other weapons.

e.g. daggers and quarterstaves get an accuracy bonus, battleaxes get an accuracy penalty but a damage bonus

MWGE April 2, 2019 03:17

Some thoughts on Necromancers

They seem (at least in my hands having died with 5 at around CL 25ish) to lack "another" damage spell that's useful.

The nether type bolt is good but then runs out of steam and the noxious vapours and vampire strike options are both relatively poor. Many (?) creatures seem shielded against the latter and the former poisons the caster too.

Equally the Vampire strike brings one into contact with the baddies...

Utility spells seem rather lacking too.

I like the Tap spell. I think that's good.

I do quite like the idea of the class and hence playing them a lot but they are hard to survive with given the lack of spells.

Oh...and Blood Falcons...WOAHH...

wobbly April 2, 2019 09:20

They get disenchant, I think it's in the 1st dungeon book? I idly feel that necromancers should get something special from Morgul weapons but I have no specific idea what.

MWGE April 2, 2019 10:21

Quote:

Originally Posted by wobbly (Post 137325)
They get disenchant, I think it's in the 1st dungeon book? I idly feel that necromancers should get something special from Morgul weapons but I have no specific idea what.

True but again it doesn't seem much use and the cost it quite high?

Might be me but their spells overall seemed rather weak.

Agreed re Morgul weapons, that would be interesting but they are not melee types in general. Nice bit of flavor though I agree.

The darkness part i quite like but it does mean one is often entering rooms with less information that available to other characters. Detection/ESP (never got that with one yet) would ameliorate the issue true but there doesn't seem a trade off.

Don't get me wrong, i very much like the idea, they just feel a little incomplete at the moment.


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