Angband Forums Reduce variance on dispel* spells
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 June 20, 2010, 17:22 #1 Derakon Prophet     Join Date: Dec 2009 Posts: 8,867 Reduce variance on dispel* spells The priest's Dispel Undead and Dispel Evil spells deal 1d(clvl * 3) damage. Could we maybe make that 3d(clvl) instead? 1dX damage has incredibly high variance which means there's good odds that the spell will deal basically no damage. I always hated D&D's 1d20 rolls too...flat distributions are a pain.
 June 20, 2010, 17:47 #2 Zikke Veteran   Join Date: Jun 2008 Location: Los Angeles Posts: 1,068 Maybe the variance is part of the balance on the spell? Making it a bit unpredictable makes it a bit less uber. __________________ A(3.1.0b) CWS "Fyren_V" NEW L:50 DL:127 A++ R+++ Sp+ w:The Great Axe of Eonwe A/FA W H- D c-- !f PV+++ s? d P++ M+ C- S+ I- !So B ac++ GHB? SQ? !RQ V F:
June 22, 2010, 00:07   #3
Tiburon Silverflame
Swordsman

Join Date: Feb 2010
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by Zikke Maybe the variance is part of the balance on the spell? Making it a bit unpredictable makes it a bit less uber.
It doesn't matter from a balance perspective. The spell has to be balanced based on the average damage it does, and 1d150 and 3d50 basically have the same mean (the latter is, yes, 1 point higher, but that's irrelevant.)

Note that 3d50 is still wildly swingy. The variance for NdS == N * (S^2-1)/12; the standard deviation is the square root. Given the size of S, we can basically drop the -1, and say the standard dev == (sqrt(N) * S) / sqrt(12) ). For 1d150, the standard deviation is simply 150/sqrt(12), or about 45. For 3d50, it's sqrt(3) *50 / sqrt(12) or 1.7 * 50 / 3.4...or about 25.

And note that this also means you're much less likely to get a really *good* roll. A good roll may well be more useful than a bad roll is damaging.

And IMO, the balance is fundamentally the fact that the damage is so low. Fine, it's hitting a boatload of critters...but you have to hit them over, and over, and over...or their natural healing will kick in to some degree.

 June 22, 2010, 00:16 #4 Zikke Veteran   Join Date: Jun 2008 Location: Los Angeles Posts: 1,068 I'm not saying that changing the variance would change the balance, but giving the spell a chance to do 1 damage is almost like giving it a chance to be worthless (or considered "failed"). It would just change when and how often some mid level priests and pallies use the spell since it's expense when you first get it. __________________ A(3.1.0b) CWS "Fyren_V" NEW L:50 DL:127 A++ R+++ Sp+ w:The Great Axe of Eonwe A/FA W H- D c-- !f PV+++ s? d P++ M+ C- S+ I- !So B ac++ GHB? SQ? !RQ V F:
June 20, 2010, 18:17   #5
Magnate
Angband Devteam member

Join Date: May 2007
Location: London, UK
Posts: 5,057
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Derakon The priest's Dispel Undead and Dispel Evil spells deal 1d(clvl * 3) damage. Could we maybe make that 3d(clvl) instead? 1dX damage has incredibly high variance which means there's good odds that the spell will deal basically no damage. I always hated D&D's 1d20 rolls too...flat distributions are a pain.
While we're at it, could we introduce some variance to the scrolls and staves? Damage of 60 is fine for troll and giant pits, but quite how Eddie uses them to clear dragon or demon pits is beyond me.

June 20, 2010, 22:03   #6
Pete Mack
Prophet

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Seattle, WA
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by Magnate While we're at it, could we introduce some variance to the scrolls and staves? Damage of 60 is fine for troll and giant pits, but quite how Eddie uses them to clear dragon or demon pits is beyond me.
I doubt he clears demon pits. Dragon pits are easy, if you have immunity.
60 damage kills all the young dragons in 4 turns, and all the mature dragons in 7. That doesn't leave a lot to mop up.

June 20, 2010, 23:24   #7
PowerDiver
Prophet

Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,712
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Pete Mack I doubt he clears demon pits. Dragon pits are easy, if you have immunity. 60 damage kills all the young dragons in 4 turns, and all the mature dragons in 7. That doesn't leave a lot to mop up.
I don't bother with demon pits because of chaos breaths. Perhaps some of them could be taken, but I'm not going to look at each type to see how many do how much chaos when most of the time it is hopeless.

Dragon pits do not require immunity. Double resistance is typically enough. That isn't completely safe, but it's a decent risk/reward if you are willing to take risks.

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