Angband.oook.cz
Angband.oook.cz
AboutVariantsLadderForumCompetitionComicScreenshotsFunniesLinks

Go Back   Angband Forums > Angband > Vanilla

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old June 16, 2017, 06:26   #1
Pete Mack
Prophet
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 4,319
Donated: $40
Pete Mack is on a distinguished road
Balance issues in current V.

TL;DR: After the recent changes to pathfinding, I figured balance might be affected for some common cases. To test it, I rolled up a Half-Troll Warrior. The result: very tedious play. I rather expected this; in fact I've expected it for a while, which is why I haven't played this combination in many years.

Pathfinding
Better pathfinding penalizes poor stealth and poor device skill. With a half-troll warrior, annoying monsters like GMMs keep waking up, and keep coming back. Dangerous monsters like Carcharoth keep coming back, and the danger is amplified because of the high fail rates. (Yes, you can game this using breath attenuation, but again: tedious.)

Further, this really hurts with no-ESP play. If you don't find ESP early, you are at significantly greater risk from monsters coming out of nowhere to kill you. It's not enough to detect each region once. Since instakill monsters are much likelier to come back, you either need ESP, or you need frequent detection, which is right out. The light rod technique becomes much less reliable. In this game, I found an amulet of ESP at 1700', so this isn't a problem. Without it, the temptation to scum 2000' for rPoison becomes much greater. (The same holds for priest-paladin, albeit to a lesser extent.)

There are a lot of moving parts here: breath attenuation, fail rate, stealth, pathfinding. Of course attenuation tends to make non-melee fights trivial, so it's not so good to rely on it as a solution.

Blow count and damage.
The other balance issue that applies particularly to H/T Warrior is the near impossibility of using heavy weapons after the fractional-blows change. The result is that unless you are lucky with lots of DEX, the optimal HT/Warrior weapon is essentially Aglarang. Yes, it's a pretty nice weapon, but it means that end-game Rogues are likely doing as much or more damage per turn.


Analysis
The root cause of this trouble is that under the current design, DEX is more valuable than STR, especially for warriors. To get to 6 blows with a weapon of 11lb or more, you need DEX 18/200--even with STR 18/220. (Note that Aglarang has weight 5lb and +5 DEX, and you see why it's so valuable.) Further, even with DEX 18/200, you can't get 6 blows beyond 15lb. With a BoC, you are already down to 5.9, and that's at S18/220, D18/200. Beyond that, things drop off slowly, but only if you have DEX 18/200. For a Half-Troll Warrior, even getting 5 blows with a heavy weapon is problematic.

In comparison, a Rogue gets 5 blows with a MoD, the heaviest weapon in the game, at STR 18/200, DEX 18/200. That's (a) possible, and (b) relatively easy to get--especially for the most common races (Hobbit, Kobold, HE). With the Glaive of Pain or Scythe of Slicing, S18/150,D18/200 or S18/210, D18/180 gets 5 blows. Getting 5 blows with a BoC is trivial.

The difference, of course, is that dexterity adjustment used to top out at 18/150, which is relatively easy to get--even for a H/T Paladin, who needs DEX +9.

Possible fixes:
* Give warrior back his extra blow.
* give more DEX to warrior.
* Reduce race DEX penalties by half (I hate this, since it affects other classes.)
* Make adj_str_blows superlinear at the last few rows.
* Give Warrior higher strength multiplier (6 instead of 5)
* Increase benefit of DEX between 18/130 and 18/200.

Doubtless there are more.
Pete Mack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 16, 2017, 07:30   #2
Estie
Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Germany
Posts: 1,450
Estie is on a distinguished road
As for str, dex and blows, it has been a long time beef of mine that for light weapons, more str gives more blows.
Long ago I suggested a system where dex determined amount of blows whereas str put a cap on the weight for weapons that allowed for the maximum amount of blows; insufficient str for a wielded weapon would reduce the #blows gradually.

Various ways to give the warrior more attacks than the spellcasters are possible, but the most simple and sufficient one is simply to use one attack table (caster, 1-4 blows), add 1 blow for hybrids and 2 blows for warriors.

Better pathfinding, or ai in general, does not necessarily lead to a better game. That being said, I have no problem with warriors getting the shaft from monster ai, IF they get more combat power to compensate. Currently a warrior is basically a paladin without spells.

Last edited by Estie; June 16, 2017 at 07:31. Reason: Edit: the usual
Estie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 16, 2017, 08:08   #3
Sky
Knight
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Glasgae
Age: 45
Posts: 768
Sky is on a distinguished road
hear, hear!
Sky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 16, 2017, 10:49   #4
Pete Mack
Prophet
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 4,319
Donated: $40
Pete Mack is on a distinguished road
The whole STR=weight DEX=Blows issue is solved in Eddieband, which is why I mentioned it. It's not an issue when DEX value maxes out at 18/150. But when it maxes at 18/200, you had better get the details exactly right--and that means CL 40 Half-Troll Warriors using the Glaive of Pain should do a whole lot of damage--and certainly more damage than a CL 50 Hobbit Rogue with the same weapon.

And to be fair, a starting warrior is noticeably better than a paladin with no spells due to the difference in starting stats, though this advantage becomes immaterial in the endgame, when a Paladin has infinite heal, and vastly more inventory flexibility.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Estie View Post
As for str, dex and blows, it has been a long time beef of mine that for light weapons, more str gives more blows.
Long ago I suggested a system where dex determined amount of blows whereas str put a cap on the weight for weapons that allowed for the maximum amount of blows; insufficient str for a wielded weapon would reduce the #blows gradually.

Various ways to give the warrior more attacks than the spellcasters are possible, but the most simple and sufficient one is simply to use one attack table (caster, 1-4 blows), add 1 blow for hybrids and 2 blows for warriors.

Better pathfinding, or ai in general, does not necessarily lead to a better game. That being said, I have no problem with warriors getting the shaft from monster ai, IF they get more combat power to compensate. Currently a warrior is basically a paladin without spells.

Last edited by Pete Mack; June 16, 2017 at 11:15.
Pete Mack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 17, 2017, 00:48   #5
Gwarl
Swordsman
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 405
Gwarl is on a distinguished road
I think green book classes are always going to be easy mode, and we should leave them out of it.

I think the curvature of the weight/str/dex/blows interactions needs some fairly deep analysis and subsequent correction. In fact I'd like to have a go at that myself.
Gwarl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 17, 2017, 02:33   #6
Derakon
Prophet
 
Derakon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 8,021
Derakon is on a distinguished road
I like the idea of using a single blows formula and granting bonus blows to hybrids / warriors. You could do it as a level-based thing, like, warriors get 1 bonus blow at level 5 and another at level 25, paladins/rogues get 1 bonus blow at 25, rangers get 1 at 30 (just to throw some numbers out there).
Derakon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 17, 2017, 02:36   #7
Pete Mack
Prophet
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 4,319
Donated: $40
Pete Mack is on a distinguished road
And speak of the Devil: I'm getting a respectable but not phenomenal 6.8* blows, 538 damage/round with Aglarang, which I've used exclusively since DL 47. (Prior to that I'd been using a *thanc.) I've now found a more traditional end-game weapon:
...
A mystical staircase appears!
You have slain Sauron, the Sorceror.
You see a Mace of Disruption of *Slay Evil* (+16,+13) <+2>
...
Combat info:
3.5 blows/round
With +0 STR and +1 DEX you would get 4.0 blows.
Average damage/round: 523 vs Undead, 422.3 vs Evil, and 320.2 vs others.

:sad trombone:

* And really, It's hard to believe it's even possible to get less than max blows with an endgame-strong character and a +5 DEX, 5lb weapon.

Last edited by Pete Mack; June 17, 2017 at 02:52.
Pete Mack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 18, 2017, 14:30   #8
Nick
Vanilla maintainer
 
Nick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Canberra, Australia
Age: 52
Posts: 6,663
Donated: $60
Nick is on a distinguished road
I'm not completely unsympathetic to these arguments, but I think they're matters of opinion rather than clear changes that need to be made. Given that monster behaviour and player classes and races are specifically up for examination in the plans for 4.2, and that the sort of alterations required here would potentially have wider effects, I think it's best to leave it as is for 4.1.0.
__________________
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
Nick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 18, 2017, 17:37   #9
Pete Mack
Prophet
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 4,319
Donated: $40
Pete Mack is on a distinguished road
Mmm. I understand your reasoning. But other changes are going in that affect balance even more, notably last minute randart changes and breath attenuation. There's getting to be a serious technical deficit on balance issues, I fear.

Last edited by Pete Mack; June 19, 2017 at 18:01.
Pete Mack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 18, 2017, 17:50   #10
Gwarl
Swordsman
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 405
Gwarl is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Mack View Post
Mmm. I understand your reasoning. But other changes are going in that affect balance even more, notably last minute randart changes and breath attenuation. There's getting to be a serious engineering deficit on balance issues, I fear.
Don't forget status effects.
Gwarl is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Issues on current master Nick Vanilla 277 June 18, 2017 23:30
how to balance rangers. Pete Mack Vanilla 30 August 1, 2016 02:19
Balance is for n00bz! ekolis Development 0 September 25, 2012 15:29
The Balance Goal Is... Polyonymous Vanilla 2 April 14, 2009 20:07
Mining gold balance issues PaulBlay Vanilla 12 March 10, 2009 18:07


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 08:04.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.