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Old September 16, 2010, 02:06   #1
Derakon
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Remove featherfall or make it useful

Featherfall is almost entirely useless in the current game. All it does is negate a trivial amount of damage from certain traps. I went and looked it up: pits deal 2d6, spiked pits deal 2d6 and have a 50% chance to double that (and some spiked pits are poisoned), and trapdoors deal 2d8. Past the very early game, this is trivial damage, even for gnome mages!

So basically we have a super-specialized ability that is only useful in the first 300' of the dungeon, and past that point does nothing beyond dilute the ability pool for items that have random abilities.

Can we please either make it useful or make it go away? Frankly, I'm not certain how to make it useful, though. Z-descendants replace it with levitation, which is basically featherfall + trapdoors can't change your level, but even that's hyper-specialized. ToME has terrain effects which you can sometimes dodge by levitating, but that would require adding terrain to V -- I doubt that's in the cards. The only other thing I can think of is making it negate some aspect of gravity attacks, but I couldn't think of anything that wasn't horribly gimmicky.

Suggestions?
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Old September 16, 2010, 02:26   #2
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Feather falling, as I see it, is essentially anti-gravity so have it resist gravity attacks to some extent and also reduce ones burden without increasing strength. It's something.
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Old September 16, 2010, 03:02   #3
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Maybe it could give you immunity to all traps? If you're walking feather-lightly then you're not going to set off any triggers. Rings of feather falling would then be pretty useful at the early depth you find them, before you've got regular trap detection and when you're still highly vulnerable to traps that poison, paralyze and reduce stats.

By the time you're finding equipment with random abilities trap immunity is really only useful to warriors, though, so it should probably give the gravity resistance effect as well. (Or else it should be taken out of the pool of random abilities and just restricted to the rings.)
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Old September 16, 2010, 03:04   #4
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Scale traps by level? I don't know. I prefer eliminate (and make way for something new) over make useful.
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Old September 16, 2010, 03:24   #5
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In DaJAngband, featherfall reduces gravity damage (though not by much) and has a chance to make you resist the slowing effect of gravity. It also gives you a chance to catch hold of the floor when you hit a trap door, giving you a choice of whether you want to fall to the next level or not.
I like Buzzkill's idea of increasing carrying capacity a little too.
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Old September 16, 2010, 08:41   #6
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I like all these: slight gravity resistance (including resistance to the slowing effect), some degree of trap immunity, some increased carrying capacity.

I think there is a ticket somewhere to introduce more terrain types, but there isn't currently a dev particularly interested in coding it up AFAIK.
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Old September 16, 2010, 09:35   #7
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Also, too: engraving A Elbereth Gilthoniel on your shield should give nether and darkness resistance.

If you want to make feather falling worth something, it needs to be rare. Otherwise, remove it.

I personally feel time hounds and gravity hounds should remain utterly terrifying to at-level characters.
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Old September 16, 2010, 16:20   #8
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I'm inclined to agree with Pete here -- I mentioned the gravity resistance as something that I felt was not a good idea because it makes gravity a lot less threatening.

I do like the trap immunity / reduced burden ideas, though. Trap immunity would mean that you wouldn't need to remember to detect traps all the time; I have trouble gauging the utility of that in a strict optimization sense (you do this, what, every hundred turns maybe?) but it'd make the user's life easier. And a burden reduction would be immediately sought out by mages.

We'd need to rename the ability, though.
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Old September 16, 2010, 16:27   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnate View Post
I think there is a ticket somewhere to introduce more terrain types, but there isn't currently a dev particularly interested in coding it up AFAIK.
This is because Takkaria's view of what terrain should do was weird... he didn't want to have any game play effects AFAIK. So it seems like a lot of work for little (no?) gain.

For my part I would rather get rid of Featherfall and use the free space in the UI/feature set to do something better.
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Old September 16, 2010, 16:49   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d_m View Post
For my part I would rather get rid of Featherfall and use the free space in the UI/feature set to do something better.
If you ever go with Timo's suggestion a while ago to decouple resistances and abilities. (thread here: http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthread.php?t=3379) I guess that would be as good a time as any to chuck feather fall. You may want to add Rstun as mentioned in the thread.

I'd also get rid of slow digestion at the same time. It's just as useless.

ImpHP and ImpSP also have slots but the only item that has it are rings of open wounds. These are pretty much junk. So if you're thinking of cleaning out the window, I'd chuck the rings and get rid of those two also.
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