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Old December 4, 2011, 22:11   #1
Derakon
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Even more thoughts on v4

Splitting from the previous thread on Magnate's request.

(Regarding "false positives" from object detection) Yeah, turns out they were squelched items. I should have thought of that myself. However, the leaked knowledge here is so hard to abuse (if you hide detected-but-unseen squelched items) I can't imagine anyone attempting to exploit it. So I'll side with hiding them.

The problem with affix-based squelching as currently implemented is that the "quality" affixes (those that modify to-AC/hit/dam) can't be seen until the item is identified. You can inspect an item, decide that it has no useful abilities, and then ditch it, but it's a manual process. Still better than the old days, mind you, but I feel like the character ought to be able to recognize quality work after awhile -- and certainly, the materials items are made out of should be obvious. I know fizzix was arguing this point earlier.

Anyway, things are still going mostly pretty decently; my character's pretty powerful at this point except for two things: lack of damage and lack of CON. I'm at +25 base speed (two Rings of Speed +6/+9 and Boots of Speed +10), have all important resists covered, etc. -- but my CON's at 18/170 because I'm only getting +3 from my equipment, and my damage is at a whopping 207/round, which I would normally consider to be downright pathetic for this point.

This has a number of ramifications. Monsters that I ordinarily don't worry about fighting are more dangerous -- gravity hounds, nightmares, etc. This is because I used to be able to kill them before they had time to really get their offense started, but now they get to stick around for at least a few turns, and that can put the hurt on. Similarly, groups of Mumakil (and, earlier, trolls and giant pits) could do some serious damage to me since I wasn't offing them in one round apiece. Experience drain was also a huge issue for awhile until I found a shield of Preservation; you may still gain "core" experience when drained, but only at 10% normal rates, and that will really slow down your leveling. Finally, I'm outright refusing to fight most uniques I see, especially the angels, because there's no way I have the resources necessary to chip them down.

I am starting to feel like enough is enough, though. I'm at 3850', I've found all of three artifacts, only one of which had more than 2 attributes, and it's still extremely rare to find a weapon that has more than +10 to-damage. So I've hit a bit of a slump, in other words.
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Old December 4, 2011, 22:18   #2
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Hmmm. Unless you've been diving extremely quickly, you've been very unlucky with the lack of artifacts. To have as many speed rings/boots as you have artifacts is pretty unusual in any version ...

Please rest assured that fizzix's argument has won the day - all non-magical affixes will be obvious on pickup - it's just a question of implementing it (I got busy with effects, and it's quite a significant change to ID, which needs quite a bit of tidying up anyway). So the squelching should work better when that's done.
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Old December 4, 2011, 22:47   #3
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It's always hard to tell in this game what's luck and what's just normal. I've been diving moderately quickly; I'd guess I'm clearing a bit over half of each level? Generally there's something scary blocking off part of the level so I just avoid that. I'm at clvl 41 now, so I am killing a fair amount of stuff.

For those who are curious what a near-endgame character looks like in v4, here's the short version of my gear (since the character dump doesn't work properly):

* the Great Hammer of Nionwe (8d1) (+12,+15) (+4 to WIS)
Slays animals. 4.7 blows/round, 207 damage vs. non-animals. Barely better than the other weapons I've found so far.

* a Sling of Buckland (x3) (+32,+26) (+1 shooting speed/power, +2 DEX)
This was a massive find for my ranged damage. I have some 1d4 (+1,+1) venomous shots that deal 365 damage/hit against non-poison-resistant enemies, and I can fire shots twice as fast as I can hit things in melee. I should be using this more, in fact. A lot more.

* Rings of Speed +6 and +9 on my fingers
* Amulet of ESP
* Lantern with 3 light radius, everburning, and See Invisible. IMO should be an "Everburning Lantern of Observation", but it's just a "Lantern of Everburning".
* +2 Elvenkind armor with nether resistance

* Cloak of Aman [2,+19] (+1 speed, +4 stealth)
Resist shards/chaos

* Buckler of Preservation (standard abilities plus poison resistance)

* the Helm 'Rutumith' [7,+17] (+3 INT/WIS/CON)
Resist cold/light/poison/blindness
Sustain DEX
Free action
Activates for mass Confuse Monster (per the staff). I've never used this.

* Gold Dragon Scale Gauntlets of Power (+1,+4) [3,+10] (+3 STR)
Resist sound, feather falling

* Boots of Speed +10

Otherwise my inventory looks pretty standard except for the rod of Healing I picked up from a chest at 1700', and there's nothing particularly interesting in my home either.
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Old December 4, 2011, 23:04   #4
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For another datapoint, I'm now at 2050' (and pretty much clearing levels thanks to that ridiculously lucky early find of the Arkenstone). So far I've yet to see another artefact aside from the two absurdly good ones I found at the very beginning.

On the other hand, my character's maxed his DEX with equipment bonuses thanks to Gloves of Thievery from a vault, and managed to find a very nice weapon in the shape of a Holy Avenger halberd with a weak fire brand and two extra sides on the dice. So I'm currently doing a respectable 168 base damage and 301.5 against undead and demons.
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Old December 4, 2011, 23:33   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
For those who are curious what a near-endgame character looks like in v4, here's the short version of my gear (since the character dump doesn't work properly):

* the Great Hammer of Nionwe (8d1) (+12,+15) (+4 to WIS)
Slays animals. 4.7 blows/round, 207 damage vs. non-animals. Barely better than the other weapons I've found so far.
Your other gear is quite good, but this one looks bad. That's just 8 from dice and 15 from to_dam against most monsters that count anything. Total 23.

I have seen better items popping up way before stat-gain in older variants, you should have found at least HA or Westernesse that is better than that by now, even branded longsword beats that one (except for WIS-bonus).
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Old December 4, 2011, 23:55   #6
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Believe me, I've been looking for better weapons. None have turned up. Large damage bonuses are incredibly rare, and I don't have the DEX to get good blows with heavy weapons. My STR is 18/180, DEX is 18/120; the only DEX boosts I've seen have been +2 from gloves of Agility (not quite enough for an extra blow) and on launchers that otherwise sucked. The hammer's only really at all useful because of its +15 to-damage, which is the biggest I've seen yet (not counting the Buckland sling).

Maybe I should go back to the beginning of the game to scum for artifacts?
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Old December 5, 2011, 00:48   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
(Regarding "false positives" from object detection) Yeah, turns out they were squelched items. I should have thought of that myself. However, the leaked knowledge here is so hard to abuse (if you hide detected-but-unseen squelched items) I can't imagine anyone attempting to exploit it. So I'll side with hiding them.
My last two cents on the subject. While I don't see it being explicitly abused, there is great potential for more casual abuse. I normally am a very cautious squelcher. If I think something may a have a use, such as inferior healing potions, or certain sub-optimal mushrooms (as well as a laundry list of other semi useful items that I could live without), I won't squelch it.

In V4, I could see myself being much more aggressive in terms of squelching items, if it's improve my detection results, which it certainly will. While I won't specifically change squelch settings prior to detecting items (though you could if you desired to do so), playing with highly aggressive squelching could negate the benefits that we sought from fuzzy detection in the first place.

Looking forward to a V4 comp, so I can squeeze in a game or two.
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Old December 5, 2011, 03:52   #8
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One thought on the stats generator: man, there is no way in hell I'm touching an angel pit with a ten-foot pole. Or graveyards as soon as drujs and non-basic liches start getting generated. Or zoos in general. If the stats generator assumes those monsters are getting killed and the items in there are getting collected, then that's skewing things. Even if my damage output were tripled and I had max CON (basically the only things I'm missing right now), I'd think twice before taking those threats on. Too many opportunities for things to go south in a hurry.

Aside from that, more update thoughts!

* A suggestion for flavor text for the paralysis spell: "surrounds you in binding magic." Much better IMO than "tries to make you stop moving." Also, does the monster teleport-self spell really need a "tries to"? There's nothing the player can do to stop a monster from teleporting itself.

* So far, I'm pretty sure every spellbook drop I've seen has been from the guaranteed drop. In other words they don't seem to be getting generated normally...which is actually to be expected given the horrible paucity of artifacts in general. I've still only found three non-spellbook artifacts all game.

* Making Eol be the holder of Raal's Tome is incredibly cruel to mages, who aren't going to be able to kill things effectively until they get it. Eol's a pretty supreme badass when he first shows up.

* Gorlim is similarly badass, especially for a native depth of 2050'. Intelligent spellcasting that includes a 200-point manabolt and a 140-point water bolt, 1 time in 2, plus fast movement. And he's not worth that much experience-wise. I killed him at 3900' / clvl41 and he still put up a good fight.

* Cavern levels seem to be really small these days. But then again apparently they're going to be integrated into normal levels instead of being their own thing, at some point?

* It says a lot about the power curve that my last notable equipment change was to Gauntlets of Power, at 3850'. It's been 1000' since my last weapon upgrade, and that weapon still only deals about 40 more damage/round than the stuff I can buy from shops. That's pathetic. I actually went and scummed the 1-10 level range in the hopes of turning up an artifact, but nothing; I guess that blip is standarts-only?

I made a backup copy of my character, killed him off to generate the artifact spoiler, and uploaded it here. Note that the same bug that prevents character dumps from displaying object properties also affects the spoiler, so I just trimmed out the excess whitespace. Looks like just about any of those would be an upgrade based on their damage dice and damage bonus alone, though.

Take a look at Nionwe in that spoiler. It's listed as having two pvals, but the one I have only has one (the +4 WIS, not the +2 whatever it is). So there's definitely something buggy going on with randart generation.

Also, there are two Nionwes in that spoiler, though the other one's a set of sandals.
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Old December 5, 2011, 10:01   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Believe me, I've been looking for better weapons. None have turned up.
That's what I did mean by "bad". IMO this is a problem with the game, not with your char. You should have found better weapon by now.

v4 overshoot difficulty for ego-weapons?
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Old December 5, 2011, 10:57   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš View Post
That's what I did mean by "bad". IMO this is a problem with the game, not with your char. You should have found better weapon by now.

v4 overshoot difficulty for ego-weapons?
Possibly, yes. But Derakon has been unlucky - other v4 players have found better weapons earlier. The fractional blows changes are also biting him, because with 18/120 Dex he would have had many more blows with heavier weapons under the old system.

Having seen his full kit, I think it looks reasonable for the pace of his diving. Who knows how many uber-weapons were available in the halves of levels he didn't clear ;-)
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