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Old February 3, 2017, 15:13   #40
half
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Wow Patashu, thanks for doing this analysis! Life is keeping me very busy with other things, but it is lovely to check in and see this data and everyone's thoughts on it.

Here are some of my own.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with this distribution. Lots of abilities are getting a lot of play. Some of them were deliberately designed to be niche, and to feel unusual and different to have a character with them, a little like rarity in a trading card game makes playing with certain things feel more special. So I'm pretty happy with the overall shape of the distribution (at least until you get down to ones used about 10 times or less).

Suprisingly high
- 169 Dexterity: I suppose there are a few abilities with this name, and I know it is good, but I was surprised to see it all the way at the top. Perhaps adjusting for all the ways you can get it (and get it multiple times) I'm less surprised.
- 167 Hardiness: I'm very surprised by this one. As far as I can tell, it is mostly as a pre-req for Poison Resistance, but I expected to see this in the bottom half -- shows how out of touch I am!
- 154 Song of Slaying: We never really got this one quite right. It was always intended to be great in the throne room, but it is a bit too good there and too weak elsewhere. Turns out to be very hard to get this balance right, especially while keeping any kind of user understanding of the formula (it is already probably the most complex formula in the game).
- 150 Keen Senses: I didn't expect to see this so high up, but I'm not disappointed -- it is a neat ability.
- 89 Momentum: This was designed by Scatha as a 'pressure valve' on the Strength limits on weapons, allowing characters who really need it to smooth things out, while keeping the sharp cut offs for most characters. We didn't expect it to be as widely used as it is, so it might just be too good. I'm glad it is not even higher up on this list though.
- 64 Rauko-bane: I have little idea why this one is so popular (is it the addition of Balrogs?). I'm happy to see people using Bane though, since I think it is a fun and flavourful ability.

Happy with the level
- 42 Leaping: This is about where I'd like it, perhaps a little low, but this includes the 1.2 characters where it had a pre-req instead of being one. I really had trouble gauging how hard to make it to acquire this, but it looks like the 1.3 system is about right (maybe still a bit too unattractive). I echo the earlier comments about how powerful this is with archers. I also find it really fun to use, so I get it a lot, but I'm aware that making it optimal to not get the fun abilities is not a good thing!
- 40 Two Weapon Fighting: This was always a historical and source inaccuracy, that I included because (like most roleplayers) I've always found it to be so cool. I tried to balance it to incentivise semi-realistic weapon combinations and to be weak enough that people won't always get it (very hard to do -- witness its huge power in many games). I'm happy with where it is on the list and was worried it would be much more popular than this.
- 25 Eye for Detail: I think there was a point when no-one was getting this, which worried me. 25 seems about as popular as intended.

Surprisingly low
- 38 Listen: This is an amazing ability. It is Sil's version of all the detection that is so important in Vanilla Angband. You don't always know when it helped you, as it avoids you getting into trouble instead of helping get you out of it, but I do think it is powerful and probably a little undervalued here.
- 27 Vanish: I'm a bit surprised this isn't higher as it is a premier stealth ability, but it probably makes sense as not that many characters specialise in stealth and those that do have a few different options for style (e.g. Vanish vs Songs vs Assassination).
- 20 Song of Silence: As above.
- 10 Song of Lorien: As above, but even more so. I find this to be an amazing ability that (with Silence and some stealth) can carry a character through the entire game. But maybe people feel like firing up a combat character a lot more than a stealth one.
- 19 Crippling Shot: I was pretty worried that this is just an overpowered ability. It can really turn a very good archer into an unstoppable one. I'm not sure why it isn't more popular, but maybe that is just because archers aren't very popular?
- 18 Rapid Fire: As above.
- 14 Versatility: I guess this one isn't so surprising after all given the low scores for the even better archery abilities.
- 14 Cruel Blow: I love this one. It is very effective with a light weapons character using ZOC. It also lets you do a bit of morale control. Does anyone here use it? Perhaps I'm mistaking it being fun for it being good.
- 12 Whirlwind Attack: This one is also very strong, but I guess it requires a fairly specialised character, and doesn't help in the final fights given the availability of herbs of rage. A character with Flanking and Whirlwind Attack is truly fearsome when fighting in a room, and very fun too. I wouldn't have wanted this to be too common (since it should feel special), but would have expected it to be in the 30s or 40s.
- 3 Strength in Adversity: We liked the idea of this, but never really got something that anyone would use. I thought the comment about the fact that you should be healing or running instead was about right. I think this *might* be underrated (because things that help when you need it most can matter more than you'd think), but I still think it is probably too weak regardless. Its presence in the game does add flavour, but I would have liked to get it more useable.
- 2 Unwavering Voice: Did we tone this one down at some point? I seem to recall it being popular. I'm glad most singers aren't feeling like they need it, but 2 is extremely low, so it looks like something has gone wrong with this ability.
- 0 Throwing Mastery: Clearly a niche ability and Sil only really tries to make throwing supported rather than encouraged, but 0 still indicates that something is wrong here.

Thanks again for the analysis and commentary everyone!
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