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Old July 26, 2012, 19:17   #1
quarague
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magic for melee char

Another observation from playing my half troll paladin :-)
As a HT paladin I expected a char that is great at melee at sucks at spell casting, which in the beginning is exactly what I got. But once he got to about the late thirties level wise, with all stats maxed he became a formidable spell caster as well. It makes sense that at that stage he can cast light or cure light wounds with the minimal 5% failure rate but I could also cast all the powerful spells like detect, identify and even heal with 5% failure. So the only advantage say a high elf priest gets is that for him it will go down to 0% failure. Seeing that the HT paladin has almost 10 more strength and consti from race and class boni that seems rather low. The HT never got any good at disarming, a decent stealth needed magic support and the failure rate for wands, staffs and rods was usually somewhere between 10 and 20%. I feel his spell casting skills should behave similarly, even casting heal with 20% failure rate would be quite powerful for a melee brawler with over a 1000 hit points.
Now playing a dunadan rogue, and so far it seems for arcane magic this is much less of an issue, ie he is level 34 now and still kind of sucks at spell casting.
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Old July 26, 2012, 20:47   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quarague View Post
Another observation from playing my half troll paladin :-)
As a HT paladin I expected a char that is great at melee at sucks at spell casting, which in the beginning is exactly what I got. But once he got to about the late thirties level wise, with all stats maxed he became a formidable spell caster as well.
By design in angband, stats dominate abilities. So you should expect all late game paladins with maxed stats to be roughly equivalent. There will be differences, most notably about 100 points of HP, but besides that, they'll all be about the same.

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It makes sense that at that stage he can cast light or cure light wounds with the minimal 5% failure rate but I could also cast all the powerful spells like detect, identify and even heal with 5% failure. So the only advantage say a high elf priest gets is that for him it will go down to 0% failure. Seeing that the HT paladin has almost 10 more strength and consti from race and class boni that seems rather low.
0% fail is huge. The gulf between what you can do with 5% fail and 0% fail is very large. At 5% fail, you always have to account for the possbility that your spell might fail. 5% is not very large and if you are often placing yourself in a "spell must succeed or I die" you will die. With 0% you can take many more risks. I would say the gap between 0% and 5% is larger than the gap between 5% and 20%.

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The HT never got any good at disarming, a decent stealth needed magic support and the failure rate for wands, staffs and rods was usually somewhere between 10 and 20%. I feel his spell casting skills should behave similarly, even casting heal with 20% failure rate would be quite powerful for a melee brawler with over a 1000 hit points.
Now playing a dunadan rogue, and so far it seems for arcane magic this is much less of an issue, ie he is level 34 now and still kind of sucks at spell casting.
At 20% you have to account for the possibility of double failing spells. You have a 4% chance of failing twice. You can't be taking many 4% chances in the game. Nevertheless, the game does allow for zero-fail backups after the first fail. The only difference between 5% and 20% is how many !healing you need to carry around for those times where you fail the first spell. It sounds like you want paladins to play more as warriors with some healing spells, as opposed to a hybrid priest-warrior.

Rogues are great at devices, pretty good at melee and archer, but really only good at auxiliary spells. They're the weakest casting class.
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Old July 27, 2012, 14:18   #3
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0% fail is huge. The gulf between what you can do with 5% fail and 0% fail is very large. At 5% fail, you always have to account for the possbility that your spell might fail. 5% is not very large and if you are often placing yourself in a "spell must succeed or I die" you will die. With 0% you can take many more risks. I would say the gap between 0% and 5% is larger than the gap between 5% and 20%.
I never felt the need for do-or-die spells. None of the detection spells are that important. And for healing or running away spells the 1000 hitpoints gave me enough of a buffer. Only very few monsters do more than 300-400 points of damage with suitable resistances. So I felt that 5% fail rate with 1000 hitpoints is just as strong as 500 hitpoints and 0% fail rate. But the extra strength of the melee char gives him much more damage dealing capacity so overall it seems more powerful.
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Old July 27, 2012, 15:19   #4
Timo Pietilš
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Only very few monsters do more than 300-400 points of damage with suitable resistances.
That is anything that breathes nether, chaos, sound, shards or disenchantment at full power and deep things that cast darkness or mana storms or mana bolt (>dlvl 70 for mana bolt). That count is not small. 3000 HP is enough for max power breaths, so dracolich is first to go over that line.
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Old July 28, 2012, 07:11   #5
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Don't forget that apart from the amazing 0% failrate, the priest gets more mana, has stronger spells, is better at devices, stealth, about as good at archery and has a not too shabby melee attack. I'm not sure, but I think the paladin can't cast all the spells a priest can and you might be missing out on the more powerful ones.
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Old July 29, 2012, 05:49   #6
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The "bash things and then cast Heal" style is sorta the Paladin's bread and butter. Indeed, I've come around to thinking that Paladins shouldn't be allowed to cast Orb of Draining. Instead, they should get Heroism or Berserk Rage (maybe call it Holy Zeal?). It seems more in keeping with the idea of the paladin character as a warrior (a holy warrior to be sure, but a warrior nonetheless).

I agree that the difference between 5% and 0% is huge. Although personally I find that it is the difference between 1% and 0% that is the key. If you resist blindness, confusion, and stunning, and have 0% fail, you can rely on your spells/prayers even in critical situations. Anything less requires some sort of backup plan.
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Old July 30, 2012, 12:40   #7
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Although personally I find that it is the difference between 1% and 0% that is the key.
For someone that has seen during his Angband career a 1% fail spell fail 3 times in a row, I can tell its a huge difference...
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Old July 31, 2012, 20:31   #8
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The "bash things and then cast Heal" style is sorta the Paladin's bread and butter. Indeed, I've come around to thinking that Paladins shouldn't be allowed to cast Orb of Draining.
I've just started playing paladins in the last couple of months, and haven't found Orb of Draining to be worthwhile, short of wiping out packs of nuisance breeders, or waking mobs of sleeping monsters to come fight me in a corridor.
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Old July 31, 2012, 21:20   #9
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That's pretty much what it's there for where paladins are concerned. It's too expensive to rely on for your main damage (especially before your WIS ramps up), and its damage grows more slowly than it does for priests.
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