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Old June 4, 2012, 06:50   #1
jevansau
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Thoughts from playing through a priest

Played through a Dunadan priest with randarts. Went slowly.

Artifacts were scarce - 1 ring, 1 amulet, all books, 9 swords, 9 polearms, 4 hafted, 2 bows, 2 shields, 1 crown (Morgoth), 2 helms, 1 glove, 1 boot, 1 cloak, 4 hard armour, 6 soft armour, 3 diggers.

Early game was hard - several near deaths, not much damage dealing potential. Mid game (once had OOD and some stat gain) was reasonable - could kill a reasonable proportion of monsters, but certainly not all. Later game found a series of very powerful weapons - made it very easy. Played like a paladin with 0% fail spells.

Used missiles (sling) early on, then rods, then missiles again until OOD became plentiful.

Artifacts were good for resistances and abilities, but never for damage dealing. Ego's, missile or melee, were always more damaging.
The branding/slaying values on artifacts were lower than for ego's.

Down deep, heavy high damage weapons were too common, and too good. Hard to see any class not being better off playing as an augmented warrior.

For Morgoth was resist all, sustain all, max all except INT and DEX and ~960 per round melee damage vs all. Used an unblessed weapon as that left all needed spells at 0% and had higher damage.

Traps seemed pretty good - they were annoying, and sometimes forced changes in tactics.

The mostly fuzzy detection is also good. Until the end, ! enlightenment are scarce enough that you have to really think about when you want to use them.

Played no selling, and most prices seemed reasonable.

V4 is looking promising - fun even if still somewhat unbalanced.

Regards,
Jonathan
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Old June 4, 2012, 10:39   #2
Magnate
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Thanks for the report - very useful.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jevansau View Post
Played through a Dunadan priest with randarts. Went slowly.

Artifacts were scarce - 1 ring, 1 amulet, all books, 9 swords, 9 polearms, 4 hafted, 2 bows, 2 shields, 1 crown (Morgoth), 2 helms, 1 glove, 1 boot, 1 cloak, 4 hard armour, 6 soft armour, 3 diggers.
Whether this counts as scarce depends on your frame of reference - it's certainly scarce compared with 3.1-3.3, but in fact 22 weapons and 10 body armours is a fair few, and at least one for every other slot (albeit only one ring). Artifact generation has been rewritten, mainly to remove the distinction between "special" artifacts and the others, but it also provides finer control over generation. So the frequencies can be adjusted - though I like the idea of artifacts being rare and powerful.
Quote:
Early game was hard - several near deaths, not much damage dealing potential. Mid game (once had OOD and some stat gain) was reasonable - could kill a reasonable proportion of monsters, but certainly not all. Later game found a series of very powerful weapons - made it very easy. Played like a paladin with 0% fail spells.
Randarts haven't been updated for v4 (except the bare minimum to enable the code to run) so they may well be quite unbalanced. But it doesn't sound like they made the game too easy, at least for the early and mid game.
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Used missiles (sling) early on, then rods, then missiles again until OOD became plentiful.
Cool! That sounds like a nice progression.
Quote:
Artifacts were good for resistances and abilities, but never for damage dealing. Ego's, missile or melee, were always more damaging.
The branding/slaying values on artifacts were lower than for ego's.
Yes, this is a result of the randart code now being out of kilter with the ego code. It will be much more noticeable for weapons than for armour, because of the combat changes.
Quote:
Down deep, heavy high damage weapons were too common, and too good. Hard to see any class not being better off playing as an augmented warrior.
That's good to know. Do you mean relative to other items or in absolute terms? I am wondering if there is just too much stuff dropped at deep depths, or whether the generator is favouring weapons.
Quote:
Traps seemed pretty good - they were annoying, and sometimes forced changes in tactics.

The mostly fuzzy detection is also good. Until the end, ! enlightenment are scarce enough that you have to really think about when you want to use them.

Played no selling, and most prices seemed reasonable.

V4 is looking promising - fun even if still somewhat unbalanced.
Excellent news. You don't comment on the combat system, except via item generation issues. Did it feel any different? I guess the real issue is your point above about being an augmented warrior rather than a pure caster - but that's more about the spell system than about the new combat. One day when somebody does a Derakon on the magic system everything will be peachy!
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Old June 5, 2012, 08:14   #3
jevansau
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>That's good to know. Do you mean relative to other items or in absolute >terms? I am wondering if there is just too much stuff dropped at deep >depths, or whether the generator is favouring weapons.

I think they were too good in absolute terms - nearly 1000 pts per round against all, not having optimized for combat seems excessive. And there were a heap of weapons > 700 pts per round. The only catch is the need to get to 18/200 strength because most of the great weapons were heavy.


>Excellent news. You don't comment on the combat system, except via item >generation issues. Did it feel any different? I guess the real issue is your >point above about being an augmented warrior rather than a pure caster - >but that's more about the spell system than about the new combat. One >day when somebody does a Derakon on the magic system everything will be >peachy!

Except for the depths, combat was reasonable, and evasive creatures were a real pain - which is what I would expect for a prowess based fighter. Actually took on the Cat Lord with a great weapon and was still a pain, so I guess that's good.

I'll have to try with a finesse based character next to compare.
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Old June 5, 2012, 09:49   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jevansau View Post
I think they were too good in absolute terms - nearly 1000 pts per round against all, not having optimized for combat seems excessive. And there were a heap of weapons > 700 pts per round. The only catch is the need to get to 18/200 strength because most of the great weapons were heavy.
Yes, but my question was about whether the nonweapon items were similarly common and overpowered. (Sorry, I phrased it poorly.) I accept that a plethora of high-damage weapons is a bad thing, but the fix for this depends on whether armour items are similarly prevalent and overpowered at the same depths. If they are, then it's a simple matter of scaling back the number of affixes with depth so that items have one or two less at the endgame. If they aren't, it means that the weapon affixes themselves need adjusting, without touching armour. This is trickier, but not impossible. Or, if the problem is quantity and not quality, we need to generate fewer weapons.

I suspect that there are a few too many weapons and also that they're a bit too powerful. It will all change when we add affixes for balance and heft though - suddenly a lot of uber-weapons will be pretty much unusable by the wrong preference.
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Old June 6, 2012, 01:04   #5
jevansau
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnate View Post
Yes, but my question was about whether the nonweapon items were similarly common and overpowered. (Sorry, I phrased it poorly.) I accept that a plethora of high-damage weapons is a bad thing, but the fix for this depends on whether armour items are similarly prevalent and overpowered at the same depths. If they are, then it's a simple matter of scaling back the number of affixes with depth so that items have one or two less at the endgame. If they aren't, it means that the weapon affixes themselves need adjusting, without touching armour. This is trickier, but not impossible. Or, if the problem is quantity and not quality, we need to generate fewer weapons.

I suspect that there are a few too many weapons and also that they're a bit too powerful. It will all change when we add affixes for balance and heft though - suddenly a lot of uber-weapons will be pretty much unusable by the wrong preference.
I don't think the problem is nearly so bad with armours. It was a struggle to have most important resistances covered well past L80, and I don't think I managed to get everything covered until >L95. Even then it was difficult.
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Old June 6, 2012, 13:48   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jevansau View Post
I don't think the problem is nearly so bad with armours. It was a struggle to have most important resistances covered well past L80, and I don't think I managed to get everything covered until >L95. Even then it was difficult.
That pretty much confirms what I was thinking. Armour items have many more affixes to choose from, and they don't all add resists, or AC, so there's much less chance of an item ending up overpowered (with the exception of boots). Weapons have a smaller pool of available affixes, and most of them increase damage output or combat utility somehow, so they're more likely to end up too good. So ideas for different weapon affixes are very welcome!
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Old June 7, 2012, 00:12   #7
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Affixes with resistance to a damage type (low or high), affixes adding light, random abilities, randomly berserks you, random status protection (e.g. pConf), affix of negative toAC
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Old June 7, 2012, 10:46   #8
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Affixes with resistance to a damage type (low or high), affixes adding light, random abilities, randomly berserks you, random status protection (e.g. pConf), affix of negative toAC
Thanks for the thoughts - we could indeed make resists a bit more common on weapons, though this needs to be carefully managed or we end up with a load of useless weapons (except as Defenders).

We could make the random ability-or-status-protection affix (Dweomercraft) more common on weapons, since none of them add any damage. It would increase the number of weapons with ESP though, so again we need to be careful. (We could create an affix for a random ability that doesn't include ESP, of course.)

Random berserk we can't do yet, as we don't have generic code for handling flags which do things randomly (random teleport is a special case). It's a nice idea though, because it allows otherwise game-breaking abilities to be available, such as random magic immunity etc. One for the distant future (or Pyrel). Opened as #1659.

Negative toAC is an interesting idea. Under the current system it would help 'use up' an affix, but if we move to a power-range generation system (per the Pyrel thread) it would actually worsen the problem, making more power available for damage affixes. But it might do well in the meantime.
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