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-   -   Archery Halving Evasion: Broken Mechanic (http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthread.php?t=9785)

DavidMedley January 22, 2020 18:49

Rare or not it illustrates that halving a skill doesn't make much sense at the extremes.

Quirk January 22, 2020 21:12

Quote:

Originally Posted by DavidMedley (Post 142603)
Rare or not it illustrates that halving a skill doesn't make much sense at the extremes.

Not sure how you get that. Negative skill levels don't make a lot of sense (and they make even less sense in a ratio system than a differential one). Extrapolating anything about mechanics from the way said mechanics interact with them is dubious IMO.

DavidMedley January 23, 2020 05:54

You don't believe analyzing a function's end behavior or asymptotes is useful?

Quirk January 23, 2020 09:13

I do, but behaviour at the end point would logically be at zero, as I have now indicated three times. I am not going to repeat myself a fourth.

I am not any more interested in the behaviour with negative skills than I am in exploring what mechanics work with skills represented by complex numbers. Negative skills are an old hack, there to boost Assassination and/or provide advantage to players with early game Melee low numbers; making these and enemy Evasion higher would also work but require a different design than the current stat+skill.

DavidMedley January 23, 2020 23:18

I count 5 monsters with evasion -5. I don't know why that's not valid to talk about. The game already concedes that halving evasion in these cases doesn't make sense, and leaves them at -5. But, starting at zero, it still doesn't make sense. A creature should still be hindered by webs and pits. But the game says otherwise.

And I'm not using low skill characters as my only example of how broke it is. I chose the deepest non-unique humanoid (Vampire Lord) as an example of how devastating, and in my opinion thematically inappropriate, the halving penalty is. There are even more extreme examples where a web or a pit or other halving penalty turns an even fight into one where the hindered character literally cannot possibly hit or avoid being hit, and/or the unhindered character cannot possibly miss or get hit.

DavidMedley January 23, 2020 23:30

Quote:

Originally Posted by wobbly (Post 142592)
Halved evasion is the only reason late game archery works on melee guys.

Of course this is necessary the way things are presently balanced. And it would not be trivial to rebalance after replacing the halving penalties that make sense within the overall Sil system. But it's still a bad mechanic. And all the work that has gone into balancing archery has been made more difficult by having this bad mechanic at its core.

Derakon January 23, 2020 23:45

Quote:

Originally Posted by DavidMedley (Post 142626)
Of course this is necessary the way things are presently balanced. And it would not be trivial to rebalance after replacing the halving penalties that make sense within the overall Sil system. But it's still a bad mechanic. And all the work that has gone into balancing archery has been made more difficult by having this bad mechanic at its core.

If I may step in for a second, I think it's pretty clear that Quirk isn't interested in debating this with you any more. You're making arguments that, as far as I can tell, stem from an "aesthetics of design" sense and rely on hypothetical monster infighting that doesn't actually happen in game. If the rules of the game suffice to provide a good play experience for what actually happens in the game, then the rules are fine. They should not be expected to work in all situations.

It's extremely difficult to come up with elegant, simple, and omni-applicable rules, so the fact that there's a few warts should be taken as a sign that the rules are good -- because there's so few!

Quirk January 24, 2020 01:38

Quote:

I count 5 monsters with evasion -5. I don't know why that's not valid to talk about. The game already concedes that halving evasion in these cases doesn't make sense, and leaves them at -5. But, starting at zero, it still doesn't make sense. A creature should still be hindered by webs and pits. But the game says otherwise.
Sure, let's talk about them. Three of these monsters are thornbushes. Two are immobile creatures of stone. Their non-existent defence would not be hindered by webs or pits because it is, in fact, non-existent.

You began from the premise that ability to dodge arrows should scale as quickly and easily as the ability to target arrows. You have now just posted arguing that thornbushes should have their defences hindered by having web draped over them. It's growing quite difficult to keep this polite.

Feel free to start a new thread on how broken Assassination is on sleeping characters because at higher levels the player's Stealth and Melee just keep going up, and enemy evasion remains non-existent, or whatever other inventive trolling you can come up with; I'm done.

Pete Mack January 24, 2020 01:54

I never understood the root of this argument. If the argument is along the lines of "plants and stone are immune to arrows", and "stones are immune to swords", I would agree. But I believe sil already does this...

DavidMedley January 24, 2020 02:48

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pete Mack (Post 142631)
I never understood the root of this argument

Well, I must be making it poorly, then. I'm certainly not trying to upset anyone.

From the original post
Quote:

Originally Posted by DavidMedley (Post 142541)
Halving a target's evasion doesn't do much at lower skill levels, but it's entirely out of proportion at higher levels.

I then noted three other circumstances where skills are halved. The same problem applies to them as well..

I probably made a mistake using examples that don't actually happen in-game. I probably made a mistake talking about thorns and whatever.

Here's one of the three other circumstances I noted in the original post
Quote:

Melee, Evasion, and Archery are halved against foes you cannot see
In melee, a low level character can blind-fight a low level monster with very little penalty. In melee, a high level character (with likely much higher perception) is brutally hindered when blind-fighting a high level monster.

In my opinion, these halving effects tend to not do enough at the low end and too much at the high end, though someone else can legitimately argue that they should be this way. Other balancing factors can be added in to make up for any scaling issues, and have been included quite skillfully. When I say "halving is a broken mechanic" that doesn't mean the game is broken. Not at all. It's a great game.

Sooo... sorry for making the argument poorly. I'll try to to take some lessons from this.


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