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Old July 26, 2012, 16:25   #11
Philip
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Yes, the original post contains the incorrect claim that if he is not in melee range the monster is much more likely to use the ranged attack than he is to spend his time moving. IIRC the monster always has the same chance to attempt to move onto the square the player is on. In certain variants the AI has been improved in this respect, but I do not recall the AI being substantially improved in this respect in V.
This means, along with overpowered ranged damage that being next to a monster is only useful when you don't have a good bow and arrows or when there are monsters in the way otherwise. Of course as Derakon says, always get away if a nearby monster has more maxdamage than you have HP.
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Old July 26, 2012, 19:07   #12
quarague
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it is true that monster at range will use some of their turns to move closer to the player (do all monsters do that? some should prefer to stay at range) but in my experience a monster at range would either move towards me or do something like 300-500 damage at range attack, while the same monster standing right next to me would only do around 50 damage per round average attacking me (and still occasionally use the range attack for large damage). So minimizing the damage my char takes is equivalent to minimizing the chance a monster uses its ranged attack, which means I should stand just adjacent to it so that it will use most of its turns on the rather harmless melee attacks.
My issue with that was that while this strategy seems perfectly fine for some monsters it seemed to be the optimal strategy for every single monster I encountered, no matter whether from lore/description it looked more like a fragile ranged attacker or like a melee brawler.
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Old July 26, 2012, 20:32   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quarague View Post
So minimizing the damage my char takes is equivalent to minimizing the chance a monster uses its ranged attack, which means I should stand just adjacent to it so that it will use most of its turns on the rather harmless melee attacks.
Monsters with ranged attacks have a 1 in N spell chance. That means every turn they have a 1 in N chance of casting a spell or breathing. They choose randomly which spell to cast (exceptions if they are scared). If they do not choose a spell, they move. If they are adjacent to the player, they will melee attack, otherwise they'll move towards the player (if scared, away from the player).

You're comparing a pointless melee attack to an even less damaging move. Also there are monsters that have very strong melee. titans and horned reapers come to mind. There are also monsters with annoying attacks like drain charges or stat drains which a cautious player may wish to avoid.

In general, I do think that some balance can be made, especially in the late game, with buffing melee and reducing ranged damage. This could come with reduction in archery, bolts, and breaths as a function of distance. Maybe... I haven't really thought this through.
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Old July 27, 2012, 07:49   #14
Timo Pietilš
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Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
Certainly. However the point I was trying to make is that, I don't think the 1/24 chance changes whether you are next to the dracolich or far away. So then it's *slightly* better from a damage perspective to be far away from the dracolich than to be next to it. I could be wrong though, it's been a while since I pored over that section of the code.
I think the point of original question was to determine if you should engage monster at distance or wait for it to come at melee around a corner. Especially for strong melee chars like warriors and priests near is better than distance, because then you can kill the opponent faster and that way significantly reduce time used in battle, some others like rangers other way around is true, you don't want to get those extra melee-attacks while you turn opponent into pincushion.

(if you wonder why I count priest as strong melee, saving mana for heals is in many cases way better tactic than use distance spells to dispatch opponents. With enough mana priest can melee pretty much anything to death without needing to retreat to heal)

My example of drujs is that they have (relatively) weak HP but high AC, so hitting them from distance is difficult but they die in melee in no time (with good enough weapon).
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Old August 5, 2012, 13:05   #15
LostTemplar
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Quote:
Even if the ranged attacks do more damage, the average damage should be higher in melee.
This is allways true due to how a.i. function.
Chance that monster uses ranged attack does not depend on range e.g. if a dragon breaths every 4 turns at range it will be the same at melee. The only difference is that if monster does not use ranged attack it attacks im melee or move towards player depending on range.
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Old August 5, 2012, 17:22   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LostTemplar View Post
This is allways true due to how a.i. function.
Chance that monster uses ranged attack does not depend on range e.g. if a dragon breaths every 4 turns at range it will be the same at melee. The only difference is that if monster does not use ranged attack it attacks im melee or move towards player depending on range.
If I was rewriting angband (v4) magic, bolts and breaths would have reduced damage with distance. The amount of fall off would depend on monster level and size (for monster breaths) and device skill for players. Ball spells would not (including mana storm) but they would have a higher fail rate with distance. Archery would accrue damage penalties at distance as well (you can still hit the dragon, but you don't hit its eye.) Penalties get mitigated by critical hits (which need rewriting.) I think Sil's free hit for point-blank archery is a step in the right direction, but I'd rather have it be a huge damage penalty or AC penalty or something.

Right now distance plays no role except to determine whether you or the monster can legally use an attack. This seems like it could use a lot of improvement.
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Old August 5, 2012, 17:43   #17
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Several variants (NPP comes to mind) have conic breaths that fall off with distance but can hit a lot of tiles. Certainly makes more sense than the current "breaths are ball spells" system.
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Old August 6, 2012, 07:01   #18
Timo Pietilš
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Several variants (NPP comes to mind) have conic breaths that fall off with distance but can hit a lot of tiles. Certainly makes more sense than the current "breaths are ball spells" system.
But also make breath attacks really weak with powerful enough distance weapons, and monsters between you and it would be hurt, so danger of reintroducing "orcs shoot each other" -problem. Currently scary monsters would become harmless wimps. Rangers would rule the Angband.

That change would require complete rebalance of monsters. NPP which has this has also 4GAI which makes monsters in general far more deadly, so it doesn't suffer from conical breath being too weak too much.

Maybe a beam with ball-like splash for each hit? "Stream of fire" more like from flamethrower than just radiating from mouth.

If you have seen movie "reign of fire" it has this done pretty well. Dragon breath acts more like liquid than gas.
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Old August 6, 2012, 10:42   #19
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I think Timo is right in why conical breaths are probably not desirable right now in angband. That still doesn't remove the possibility of reducing damage through distance.

The image is a 10m tall dragon breathing down on you over the heads of all the other monsters who've intelligently ducked out of the way. Of course this image doesn't work for Zs but that's a minor detail...
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