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Old October 17, 2011, 16:10   #1
Jungle_Boy
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Possible Race and Class changes

I decided to take a stab at rebalancing the races as mentioned in the thread about what non-coders can do to assist in development.
http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthread.php?t=4494
http://trac.rephial.org/ticket/1298

My basic aim was to make races that are not played more attractive and to make race matter more in character selection. I tried to make unpopular races more attractive by improving their stat allocation and I also tried to give most races a stat where they are the best. To make the choice of race matter more I increased the variation of hit die and skill allocation and stealth skill. I did not touch searching or frequency of search since I was not sure what effect changes would have.

To make sure that this did not change too much I also decreased the variation on hit die and skills in the various classes. Almost all starting skills have been reduced and the increment has been increased to help compensate. The end result should be the same for races suited to the class they are playing and slightly worse for races unsuited to it. I reduced the hit die for warriors and paladins and increased it for mages and priests. Along with the changes to races this ensures that the hit die for both the highest and lowest race/class combinations remain the same. Stealth was decreased for all classes but several races saw an increase and I removed the XP penalty for all but hybrid classes.

Below are the changes made to each race and I have attached the new p_race.txt and p_class.txt files. I also attached the text version of the spreadsheets I used when making the changes.

Human: No changes to stats and their skills are now about average rather than being zero. One change I think would be nice for humans is to possibly give them more points at character creation; this is outside of edit file changes however. Hit die increased by 1

Half-elf: Increased Wis, Con, Chr, they are now one of the highest Wis races. Awareness of their own mortality and the fact that they are outsider to both humans and elves gives them wisdom beyond their years. They are worse than humans at disarming but have better devices and saving throws and they are stealthier. They are worse than humans at melee but better at bows and throwing. They no longer have Infravision. They have their Wis sustained and they resist Stunning.

Elf: Increased all stats but Int, however they do not have a stat where they are the best. They have worse Wis and Con than Half-elves but other stats are better. They are the second stealthiest race. They have below average melee but are the best archers. They no longer have infravision and have their Dex sustained and also resist Confusion naturally.

Hobbit: No stat changes, their skills are very good, other than melee, and they are the stealthiest race. Hit die decreased by 1.

Gnome: Increased Int, decreased Dex. Average disarm and worse saving, very good device skill, very bad at melee not much batter at bows but good throwing and bonus to digging. Hit die decreased by 1.

Dwarf: Increased Int to -2 and Con to 3, dwarves have the highest Con of any race. Melee skill is very good; other skills are relatively unchanged, hit die increased by one.

Half-orc: Decreased Int and Wis, increased Con. Above average melee, all other skills are bad. Hit die increased by 2.

Half-troll: No stat changes. Highest Str and Con race. Skills are still the worst at everything but melee where they are the best. Hit die increased by 1.

Dunedan: Same Str and increased Wis, all other stats decreased. Along with Half-elves they are the highest Wis race. Good melee and saving, other skills are fairly average. Hit die increased by 1.

High-elf: Decreased Str, Dex, Con, below average disarm, very good device and saving. Also below average fighting, hit die reduced by 2. No longer have infravision.

Kobold: Increased Int, Wis, Dex. Good Disarm and device skills, fairly bad at all others but throwing, they do have a digging bonus and decent stealth. Hit die decreased by 1.

I think the overall effect of these changes should be that races will have more character, and be a more important choice in character creation, if you choose a race that is suited to your class you should not notice much difference but if you choose a race unsuited to your class you may notice that things are more difficult. Also Elves and Half-elves should be more popular and High-elves and Dunedan were made weaker. I would appreciate any playtesting or feedback offered.

If we want to incorporate these changes into release there are still a couple things that need to be done. We need to document the new racial flags in ui-birth.c and rewrite the race descriptions in the help file to reflect the changes.
Attached Files
File Type: txt Race Changes.txt (3.6 KB, 207 views)
File Type: txt Class Changes.txt (2.5 KB, 193 views)
File Type: txt new_p_race.txt (2.9 KB, 172 views)
File Type: txt new_p_class.txt (9.2 KB, 258 views)
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Old October 17, 2011, 16:34   #2
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Wow, this is a really interesting set of changes - nice work. RES_STUN and RES_CONF would certainly make ~elves more popular. It may be that the net effect of these changes is to make the game easier (most races seem to come out better off except hobbits and dunadan/high-elves), but that can be addressed. Fizzix has recently submitted some changes to birth points (not yet in dev versions), which would go well with this (they reduce the class stat bonuses for most classes, and reduce birth points).

I'm a bit nervous about making both Dunadan and high-elves weaker. I think there's a reasonable consensus that we *want* at least one "easy" race for beginners.

Let's see what people think.
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Old October 17, 2011, 16:44   #3
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I like most of the changes besides the hit dice changes. They seem to really hurt characters that already have very low hit dice, while giving more dice to characters that don't really need more (dwarves, half-trolls). The increase on humans is fine though.

I agree with magnate in that high-elf and dunadan should be easy classes. Maybe they still are?

The work on skill changes is probably the best and certainly the most sorely needed.

Not sure whether I like RES_STUN and RES_CONF being natural abilities. Those are really powerful!
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Old October 17, 2011, 16:56   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnate View Post
I'm a bit nervous about making both Dunadan and high-elves weaker. I think there's a reasonable consensus that we *want* at least one "easy" race for beginners.
On the other hand, Dwarfs seem to have received a boost and they were already a pretty good choice, so perhaps they're now the easy beginner option?

I like most of this, but would be kind of sad to see half-orcs have their INT reduced (even though I can't argue with it thematically) since they're the only class with decent strength and a minimal INT penality, a nice distinctive little niche that made them good for playing melee-happy rogues. We've got a "good STR, good WIS" class in dwarfs, I'd like a "good STR, decent INT" equivalent available too. Mainly because all my rogues will continue to die otherwise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
Not sure whether I like RES_STUN and RES_CONF being natural abilities. Those are really powerful!
How about sound and disenchantment resistance as alternatives? Useful but not quite such game-changing abilities.
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Old October 17, 2011, 17:02   #5
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High-Elves are the obvious "we're just better than everyone else" race, so they really should stay as the easy-mode race. Just like how many variants name their explicitly-easy-mode race Maiar -- you'd expect a demigod walking the earth to be powerful, and you'd expect the ascended, immortal precursors to also be powerful.

I don't really have a comment on the other changes right now.
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Old October 17, 2011, 17:11   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
I like most of the changes besides the hit dice changes. They seem to really hurt characters that already have very low hit dice, while giving more dice to characters that don't really need more (dwarves, half-trolls). The increase on humans is fine though.

I agree with magnate in that high-elf and dunadan should be easy classes. Maybe they still are?

The work on skill changes is probably the best and certainly the most sorely needed.

Not sure whether I like RES_STUN and RES_CONF being natural abilities. Those are really powerful!
More so than rpois or FA? I'd take both of those over pStun - I can't remember the last time I lost a character to stunning. pConf is powerful though. Perhaps Nomad's suggestion of rDisen or rSound would be good.

Not sure I agree with you about hitdice, I quite like the idea of low-hp races getting even harder. Whether dwarves and HTs deserve the extra pip sort of depends on how the other changes add up. If dwarves are better than they were and dunadan/high-elves weaker, that doesn't sound quite right. I think dwarves are considered by many to be the best race behind those two.
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Old October 17, 2011, 17:19   #7
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Dwarves were already good. They certainly make better priests and paladins than dunadan and high-elves did, and I tend to value blindness resistance over see invisible (though probably not over sustain CON).

Remember that each hit die is equivalent to .5HP per level (25HP total at level 50). A half troll at d12 hit dice has an expected 125HP over a hobbit at d7 hit dice, all else being equal.
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Old October 17, 2011, 23:03   #8
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I didn't really think of trying to make one race better than the others, that could be something that needs to be reverted. Basically, my thinking was that dunedan are better than humans in almost every way but they are still human and better than human does not mean much in fantasy setting. These High-elves are basically the 'ivory-tower' elves, very smart good skills but not much for fighting. If you want a fighting elf choose elf. I tried to have an idea of the general feel I wanted for each race and make them good at that but not as good at everything else. The idea was that instead of picking the best race and then whatever class you wanted, that you would pick a race/class combination that complemented each other, thus making it the best or easiest.

As for the hit die changes, there are only four race/class combos that changed more than 50 hp and max level. Half-orc Mage/Priest (+75) and High-elf Warrior/Paladin (-75). With these changes the variation between races is greater but the variation between classes is smaller with the max HP (Half-troll Warrior) and the min HP (Hobbit Mage) remainging exactly the same.

The reason for giving Elves rConf was that the Elves came back to middle-earth with a racial purpose, a reason for being there. (To recover the silmarils) I thought this fit nicely wih making them resist confusion and I did not think it was really more powerful than say rBlind, SI, or rPois.

Thanks for the feedback.

PS Nomad, check out Elf (+1 Str, +2 Int, +2 Dex) could make you a nice fighty rogue. The reason I decreased half-orcs Int was that I could not justify having them smarter than dwarves.
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Old October 17, 2011, 23:31   #9
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I can see I'm not making much headway here

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Old October 17, 2011, 23:41   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post

Remember that each hit die is equivalent to .5HP per level (25HP total at level 50). A half troll at d12 hit dice has an expected 125HP over a hobbit at d7 hit dice, all else being equal.
Could someone explain the effect of CON, hitdice, and level on total HP? I'm sure there is a simple formula. Naively I think it would be something like:

HP = CON_index*avg_HP(CL,hit_die),
where CON_index is read from a table based on score, hit_die is the sum of the class bonus and race bonus, and avg_HP might be calculated as the sum of CL random numbers:

avg_HP(CL,hitdie)
for i = 1: CL
HP(i) = rand(1:hitdie)
end
avg_HP = sum(HP( : ))

If that's the case, then wouldn't the average expected hitpoint change be based on the delta of the previous and current hit die, so hobbit mages would receive (6+0)/(7+0) = 86% of the HP they currently receive and half troll warriors would receive (13 + 9)/(12+9) = 105%? For a hobbit mage, the decrease would be (assuming 800 hp is current avg.) 115 points. I'm probably not right but would be interested in being corrected.

Apologies for the strange looking code. Its more or less MATLAB syntax should anyone else be familiar with the program.

Quote:
More so than rpois or FA? I'd take both of those over pStun - I can't remember the last time I lost a character to stunning. pConf is powerful though. Perhaps Nomad's suggestion of rDisen or rSound would be good.
Both rDis and rSound are more powerful than pConf or pStun IMO due to the current frequency of pConf on items, the rarity of both rDis and rSound, and the low impact of pStun on game play.
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