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Old March 9, 2017, 10:12   #1
PowerWyrm
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Status affecting items/spells

Currently, wands of slow/sleep/scare/confuse monster (also the case for the corresponding staves, rods and spells) are simply used once to ID them and then K-ed... because they don't seem to ever work.

Looking at the code, the formula for saving throw is:

Code:
resist_chance = mon->race->level + 40 - (timer / 2);
The "timer" value varies between effects and item/spell, but it's usually 10, 20 or character level. Sleep monster uses a flat mlvl+40 formula, since the timer is divided by 25 for whatever reason hardcoded in mon_resist_effect(). A much better formula would be (for all effects including sleep):

Code:
resist_chance = mon->race->level + MAX(25 - timer / 2, 0);
Still makes townies resist effects 20% of the time at level 10...
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Old March 9, 2017, 13:32   #2
Sky
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Agreed.

It's not the potential effect, but rather the losing of 1 action turn. At low levels, this might work, but when you deal 400+ dmg in 1 turn, it's insane to trade it off for a 5% chance of slowing a mob. And serious uniques are almost all immune to status effects anyway.
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Old March 9, 2017, 15:34   #3
Derakon
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Just a quick reminder that my status effect proposal (and the ensuing conversation about how status ailments really ought to work) is still out there.
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Old March 9, 2017, 17:41   #4
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Using an item of sleep monster is a good way of waking up monsters.
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Old March 9, 2017, 18:15   #5
Nomad
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My thoughts:

1. If status effects are not 100% reliable, they are never going to be worth choosing as an action over attacking or starting to run.

2. Status effects that are 100% reliable are always going to be too overpowered if they nerf the target monster's combat abilities in any way.

So I feel like the only status effects that are workable are ones that either work as an escape tool without providing any combat advantage, or affect the monster in some way that doesn't hamper its ability to counter-attack. Hence, my proposal would be to replace the current status effects with things like:
  • A form of Sleep Monster that's 100% effective on non-immune monsters. Monsters should be put to sleep for a guaranteed X (+ device skill modifier) turns, only waking if you disturb them with crappy stealth or by attacking them. It gives the player a chance to get a head start on fleeing or to tackle monsters one at a time, but doesn't provide any advantage once you actually start fighting them.
  • Some form of "ongoing damage" effect equivalent to inflicting poison or a cut, where the player sacrifices a turn at the start of the battle to set up a recurring effect that will do small amounts of repeat damage for X turns. It shouldn't be overpowered because it's just a different form of damage-dealing that doesn't directly weaken the monster's counter-attacks.
  • Maybe some effects that would hamper the monster's non-offensive capabilities but still leave it free to attack, such as "trapping" it in its current square for X turns without preventing it from using its ranged attacks, or an "anti-magic" effect that stops the monster using self-directed spells like heal or blink/teleport without stopping it from using its attack spells.
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Old March 9, 2017, 18:36   #6
Derakon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomad View Post
My thoughts:

1. If status effects are not 100% reliable, they are never going to be worth choosing as an action over attacking or starting to run.
This I agree with.

Quote:
2. Status effects that are 100% reliable are always going to be too overpowered if they nerf the target monster's combat abilities in any way.
This I thing is an over-strong statement. I mean, consider a 100%-reliable status effect that reduces the monster's melee damage by 1 point per blow. That's not overpowered. Conversely, a status effect that reduced the monster's melee damage by 100% would probably be overpowered unless its duration was very short. So there must be some middle ground, where status effects are competitive with the player's other options, neither too weak to consider nor so powerful that you never not use them. Figuring out where that middle ground is will require extensive playtesting, but I don't believe it to be impossible to achieve.
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Old March 9, 2017, 18:53   #7
Estie
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I am in disagreement with Nomadīs point 2. as well.

You are assuming that @ fights a monster expecting to win, and now gets a new ability on top that makes the fight easier for him.

For the debuff mechanic to be interesting, you need to establish a situation where @ encounters something he cant fight _unless_ he debuffs it.

Admittedly, steering Angband in that direction would likely require major changes.

Edit: a simple example would be to replace speed potions in the early game with slow wands. Suppose speed potions start to drop later (dlvl 30 or so), you could carry a wand of slow monster to be able to kill the early uniques, provided the slow works somewhat reliably.
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Old March 9, 2017, 18:58   #8
Nomad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomad View Post
2. Status effects that are 100% reliable are always going to be too overpowered if they nerf the target monster's combat abilities in any way.
This I thing is an over-strong statement. I mean, consider a 100%-reliable status effect that reduces the monster's melee damage by 1 point per blow. That's not overpowered. Conversely, a status effect that reduced the monster's melee damage by 100% would probably be overpowered unless its duration was very short.
Well, I suppose "nerf" is doing rather a lot of work in this sentence as shorthand for "be sufficiently hampering that it's actually worth wasting a turn to cast rather than spending that turn just dealing damage". I'm just not convinced it's all that feasible trying to balance "always works" with "affects monsters powerful enough to actually be useful to use on" with "better than just stabbing them an extra time" with "all of this applies sufficiently frequently to be worth taking up an inventory slot". Not without requiring the kind of power-creep that ends up making monsters impossible to tackle without the status effects.
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Old March 9, 2017, 20:40   #9
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I wonder if wands could reduce monster saving throws for a certain number of turns, on every use, in addition to the chance of causing their primary status effect. Higher level monsters might require additional shots to lower their save enough for the status effect to take hold.

This would be a way for wands have a guaranteed effect without making them quite so overpowered. It also might mean lower level wands could still be a little bit useful later, since you could burn a few charges from a crappy wand to lower the save to the point that a better wand would actually do something.
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Old March 9, 2017, 21:10   #10
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It's an interesting idea, but I suspect that most players would look at "you have to spend several turns doing ''nothing'' before you can actually get the result you want" and decide "no thanks, I'll just hit the thing with my weapon/arrow/spell instead."

The vast majority of the player's options for interacting with monsters have immediate results. If you want to introduce delayed effects (which status ailments already are), then I really think saving throws need to be removed as a concept. Either a monster is immune, or they are 100% susceptible, and status effects are scaled so that this isn't unbalanced.
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