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Old June 26, 2018, 15:50   #11
bunnies
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Races are stat modifiers, innates resistances / sustains / powers, which ultimately have minimal effect in the late game. If the rework is switching numbers around, removing xp penalty, streamlining races... then gameplay won't be affected much I think. From a theme point of view, I'm mostly indifferent.

However, if the rework involves even more, such as racial abilities, racial specific interactions etc., perhaps you could share your thoughts on what the final state of the rework would look like.


Also, I do have slight issue with Dwarf Int. Perhaps you're taking reference from the Silmarillion and literature, but vast majority of popular media has not been kind to dwarves and their intelligence. Even in Peter Jackson's middle earth movies, the dwarves look like they're there as bumbling comedy relief. From a general populace POV, it might seem... odd for Gimli to have more innate intelligence than Elrond.
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Old June 26, 2018, 15:58   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bunnies View Post
Also, I do have slight issue with Dwarf Int. Perhaps you're taking reference from the Silmarillion and literature, but vast majority of popular media has not been kind to dwarves and their intelligence. Even in Peter Jackson's middle earth movies, the dwarves look like they're there as bumbling comedy relief. From a general populace POV, it might seem... odd for Gimli to have more innate intelligence than Elrond.
This is a good point: you contradict popular culture at your own peril. Witness the many, many arguments we've had on these forums about whether mages ought to be able to rely solely on spells for everything they need to do.
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Old June 26, 2018, 16:01   #13
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Originally Posted by Nick View Post
[*] Half Orc, Half Troll: No indication of these existing in Tolkien's writing, but maybe he was just too high-minded to talk about the necessary shenanigans. These both seem to have good gameplay niches, and I'm happy to keep them.
http://lotr.wikia.com/wiki/Half-trolls
http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Half-orcs
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Old June 26, 2018, 16:19   #14
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If we want to be conservative, perhaps Easterling would be an appropriate addition/replacement for one of the races?

Personally, I'm with Derakon on having lots of races (even non-thematic) as long there's something different about them. For example, Golem in Entroband has innate pStun which is great... but it has massive penalties to INT/WIS, so it's painful for spellcasters (w/o absurd equipment) who have the most use for pStun. (It's interesting because pStun can be rather difficult to come by.)

Going even further, I'm also rather fond of sub-races from ToME2 where there are subraces like Vampire, Zombie, Spectre (w/passwall) etc. These are restricted based on race, so there are no Zombie Ents, for example. Most of them don't really change the gameplay massively, they just provide a lilttle bit of differentiation and can provide nice early-game bonuses. (Examples of race+subrace combinations: Red Dragon, Ethereal Dragon, Zombie Easterling.)
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Old June 26, 2018, 17:05   #15
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I'll provide my thoughts on races. There's really three aspects that need to be balanced to some degree. Exactly where the balance falls is difficult, and everyone has their own preferences. The three aspects are:

1) Gameplay considerations. Each race should have some interesting aspect to it that distinguishes it from other races. Each should have some viable build (although there's room for difficult challenge races, and easy super races)

2) Lore considerations. This is what Nick's first post focuses on. And it's important. The game is based on the Tolkien universe, so it's a good idea to keep things somewhat grounded in it.

3) Common perceptions. The common perception of an elf as a frailish, skinny, agile, magic-user is very pronounced. Similary, the perception of a dwarf as both strong and stupid and having a Scottish accent is also present. It's very much ok to tweak these expectations a little, but as other's noted there's some peril here. RIght now the races hew more to popular conceptions rather than Tolkien verisimilitude.

My personal inclination is usually to focus on the gameplay considerations, with roles 2 and 3 providing flavor but taking a back seat. I know that many people disagree with this approach, and that's ok. But I can outline where the races go considering gameplay.

For gameplay purposes. In angband the main difference is provided by classes. Races mostly affect a difficulty scaling. This can be changed if desired. A change would be to give races specific racial abilities. We already have this in a sense with innate resistances, but providing races with active abilities that they unlock as they level could be useful. I'll provided some idea for abilities at the end.

I'll refer to race stats below. Stats given are in this canonical order (str, int, wis, dex, con)

High elf - This is the uber race. Pluses to all stats. See invisible. They're good as they are. Can be renamed Noldor if you really want. But this is ok as is. stats like +2 +2 +2 +2 +1

Dunadan
- Another strong race choice, also pretty good as is. Should be a cut below the high-elf. Dunadan should be pushed a bit towards tanky caster classes. Priest/paladin are natural choices. stats like +3 +1 +1 +2 +2

Human
- generic bog standard race. Good as is. Should play any class reasonably well. stats like +0 +0 +0 +0 +0. Probably a challenge class.

Wood elf - replacement to standard elf. Should also be an above average class. Something like +0, +1 +1 +2 +0 . Wood elves should be pushed towards the ranger/druid classes.

Dwarf - This is the current angband (d&d) dwarf. Perhaps kill the wisdom bonus. Also maybe reduce the blind resistance which is super strong and replace it with something else. Stats could be +2 -1 +1 -2 +2. Like current dwarves they look best in warriors/priests and paladins. They're probably worse than dunadan at priest and paladin though.

Naugrim - This is the Tolkien dwarf. It should essentially replace the current gnome in gameplay purposes. Very good with devices, high int. It wouldn't be as physically frail as a gnome though. Stats like +0 +4 -2 +0 +3

Troll: An above average class, just crappy at spellcasting. They probably should have even more additional penalties to spellcasting than bad stats. Perhaps something like permanent encumberance penalties. Troll Warrior will be a go to class. stats like +5 -4 -4 -2 +4

Orc: Another warrior class but one that gets more dex and less str and con. Probably should get a bonus to stealth, and probably the ability to see in the dark. Orc rogues should be viable too. stats like +2 -3 -3 +3 +1

Hobbit: prototypical halfling class. Geared towards stealth builds, but also can play the frail mage archetype. Stats like -4 +3 +1 +5 +0. With raw numbers the stats look great, but the -4 to Str is a huge penalty.

Yeek
: yeeks are Angband originals. They replace kobolds, and are a true challenge class. Stats like -3 -2 -2 -1 -3. Yeeks like kobolds will get resist poison, and probably at some point get acid immunity. They could also have additional penalties, like being forbidden to use specific large weapons. (hobbits could get this penalty also).

Ent: A Tolkien specific race. Perhaps one that provides a unique gameplay style. permanent -10 to speed and natural AC that grows with level. Permanent speed items are half as effective. Immune to temporary speed buffs and debuffs (including !speed, _haste and inertia/gravity hound breaths) Fire vulnerability. Somewhere like 3x the HP of Trolls (we're talking 3000 hp or something at level 50 and max Con (enough to survive 2 full damage fire breaths should be the metric, so if we make fire breaths more reasonable, their HP can be cut a little, just remember they need a lot, at least 2x a normal class since they're going to get double moved all the time). Perhaps no ability to wield weapons, instead getting bonuses to unarmed attacks, and additional blows with XP levels. Maybe they can wield two shields instead. Stats like +8 +0 +2 -6 +10.

Further racial distinctions can be provided by active abilities. These could work the same way as activations, and just like activations, they could have a cool down timer. Some possible abilities are:

"protection from evil like spell" for high elves
"detect living, or temp ESP for living creatures" for dunadan
"fashion wand" for naugrim - destroys 1-3 wands and produces a wand of their choice, probably no more advanced that acid bolts
"hurl boulder" for half troll
"root" for ents - cannot move for N turns, get some large number of temporary XP and some extra blows.
"berserk" for orcs - bonuses to blows and damage, followed up by a period of slowness

lots of ideas are possible here.
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Old June 26, 2018, 17:43   #16
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This is starting to sound more like a remake than a new version. Which, given the refactoring it might well be.

I think the game we know and love is a tolkein-themed addon for moria. To understand elves (and not high elves) and the balance of the race and classes, I think you need to look at the original.
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Old June 26, 2018, 18:12   #17
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Regarding the elf/dwarf int/wis stuff:

I know you made the swap in FA and it confused me at first, but I think these stats shouldn't be understood in terms of the english words which give their namesakes but instead are more like 'magic' and 'sanctity', i.e. is this a race you pick to be a mage or one you pick to be a priest. Dwarf mages just seem kind of wrong. I would look into fixing this problem with the stats themselves (as Sil did) before looking at the racial stat distributions.
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Old June 26, 2018, 19:14   #18
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I should also say something about monsters.

I've commented before that I think the second half of the game tends to drag a lot. There are a couple problems that cause this.

Unique monsters are often much more difficult than other at-level monsters. This means you usually cannot kill unique monsters when you first find them. Consumables have actually helped resolve this problem up to about dlevel 30, but once you get to uniques like Scatha or Itangast, you absolutely cannot fight them without double resistance or immunity.

There are too many late game uniques and each battle can be long and drawn out.

Many monsters cannot be handled without specific resistances (or even immunities). Monster avoidance is interesting, and a key part of Angband (and other roguelikes). But Angband too often has binary resistances that make the interaction a bit less interesting. If we're reworking the monsters we should keep this in mind.

Angband has a lot of monsters that deal 50% of a characters HP or more with a single attack. A lot of monsters can do this, even through resistances. This winds up limiting tactically interesting possibilities. You simply can not afford to interact with more than one monster that can deal 50% of your health in an attack. Currently Angband resolves the problem by giving the player powerful abilities to control the rules of engagement. Teleport, destruction, teleport other, terrain modification, etc. Any rework in monsters should consider serious nerfs to monsters along these lines, to be compensated by nerfs to player escapes, resistances, or boosts to other monster abilities.

Basically if I had to sum up the changes I'd like Angband to be, Angband currently looks like, "I need to do X now or I may die next turn." I'd like it to be "I need to do X now or I may die in 5 turns"
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Old June 26, 2018, 19:15   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwarl View Post
This is starting to sound more like a remake than a new version. Which, given the refactoring it might well be.

I think the game we know and love is a tolkein-themed addon for moria. To understand elves (and not high elves) and the balance of the race and classes, I think you need to look at the original.
In some sense, it should be. Moria is 20 or so years old. We've learned a lot about games and gameplay since then.
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Old June 26, 2018, 19:28   #20
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@fizzix--
Going from +2/-2 on dwarf spellcasting state to +1/-1 makes them boring, a la Sting in the current artifact set. There was a recent discussion on this: +1 is boring and makes for less distinction from comparable entities.
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