Angband.oook.cz
Angband.oook.cz
AboutVariantsLadderForumCompetitionComicScreenshotsFunniesLinks

Go Back   Angband Forums > Angband > Sil

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old August 26, 2016, 23:26   #1
Infinitum
Adept
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 192
Infinitum is on a distinguished road
Smithing, again

Taking another stab (or strike if you will, hurp) at my least favourite part of Sil. It's been a while since the last one of these threads. Anyhow; Smithing:

* Takes a huge skill investment to rival endgame equipment - the main gameplay problem imo; essentially any points in smithing are forfeit in order to "gurantee" equipment that tends to come to the player anyhow at the depths smithing turns useful. Examples given, a fine shadow cloak of protection is the equivalent of 34 smithing points. A doublefine mithril corslet of resilience is 29 points. With some exceptions, most of the "good" artifacts is in the 30-40 ballpark as well should you recreate them.

Assuming a 4-grace start and a full smithing kit (crown +1, amulet +1, gauntlets +3, artifact hammer +3/4, +3 from song), that still means some 15-20 odd points of raw skill just to be on par with what the player is likely to find lying around anyhow (especially given wands of treasure). Or some 15-20k in skillpoints, plus abilities, song investment and smithing gear costs, all in all between a fourth and a third of the total xp before Morgoth to be on par should you want to customize every equipment piece.

* Takes a huge time investment - smithing takes 10 turns per difficulty level to complete, more if you wait around for aule to recharge. A "worthwile" endgame piece is at least 30 smithing. You have 10-12 slots to fill depending on bow and shield preferences in addition to the smithing gear and intermediate stuff you made. Minimum depth occurs around 29k turns. Do the math.

* Slow, uncertain return of said investment - the above assumes the player will spend 2-3 full forges on smithing boosters to help him create that vaunted endgame gear, whilst somehow juggling this with smithing "enough" midgame-tier equipment (in the 10-20 range) to survive short term. Given how rarely forges are being generated it makes actually spending skill points beyond those +2 rings/protection armours/crown of command until you've found a staff of revelations extremely sketchy - falling behind on accuracy/evasion compared to the current depth is after all what gets most players killed midgame.

However, the smithing boosters themselves sits in the low teen to low twenty range, requiring the player to hoard at least some 10k xp in total midgame or risk missing out on effective forge uses later.

* The above adds up to essentially making smithing a sucker trap for new players and an unofficial hard mode for experienced ones. To get a proper smith going, one must spend most early xp into smithing and use early forges to create a smithing gear and simultaneously find or create enough quality equipment to offset the gimped combat stats and find and identify enough stat regainers to offset losses and pray for an early staff of revelations because it's the only way to realistically get geared up in time before cat territory (without losing too many artifacts to scumming, of course). All of the above must be accomplished without too many rerolled levels because again, clock's ticking!

All this for a payoff that typically comes well after the player would normally outlevel and outmurder everything sans V himself. Incidentally, most proper smiths die young.

After trying (and failing repeatedly to get through the above wall with what must be dozens of characters (and bitch about it for years on end), is it too early to beg half for a radical redo if/when 1.4/1.5 comes along? There have been tweaks, true, but those have mostly been aimed at curbing song of mastery smiths and endgame power level (which isn't the issue tbh; every character is overpowered after cat depths should s/he live that long - somwthing which even smiths lucking into multiple forges have an issue with).

There are of course uses for low-level smithing that uses the 100' forge as a stepping stone (and for the high possibility of early (undercosted) feanorian lamps), and arguably the 10k mid/lategame xp to hammer-slingshot into a sharp weapon can be justified due to how powerful/rare (light) sharp weapons are. On the whole the entire game system feels broken and unfun as is to me.

What are your current thoughts about it? Working as intended? Any changes you would like to see? Current imba smithing strategy? Any planned upcoming features from the creators? Anyone? Anything?
Infinitum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 27, 2016, 01:31   #2
Derakon
Prophet
 
Derakon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 7,881
Derakon is on a distinguished road
Standard disclaimer: I (still) have never played Sil.

My assumption with most crafting systems in (well-designed ) roguelikes is that they are intended to make the character's power curve more reliable, not to push it further/faster. In other words, it's there to guarantee that you won't miss out on $critical_equipment or to otherwise help you deal with an unexpected gap in object generation, not to let you craft your own artifacts. Viewed through this lens, it sounds like Sil crafting is basically fine up until you get to the high-end stuff. Would a valid response then to be to cap the maximum quality of smithable stuff?

Of course, Sil doesn't currently do that because Tolkein is full of stories about legendary craftsmen and their works, and the devs wanted some aspect of that to be doable in-game. But it always struck me as a little odd that the player is taking time out in the middle of incredibly hostile territory in order to do a little smithing.
Derakon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 27, 2016, 04:24   #3
BlueFish
Swordsman
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 414
BlueFish is on a distinguished road
It's easy to increase forge frequency by editing vaults.txt. If you don't mind customizing your game.
BlueFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 27, 2016, 13:06   #4
Infinitum
Adept
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 192
Infinitum is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Standard disclaimer: I (still) have never played Sil.
But you've been posting on the Sil board since before I joined..? That's some restraint.

Quote:
My assumption with most crafting systems in (well-designed ) roguelikes is that they are intended to make the character's power curve more reliable, not to push it further/faster.
One would assume, but beyond the first forges are very infrequently generated, and in order to use them the player needs to sandbag xp that would otherwise go into more evasion/accuracy. And as I'm sure you know, base accuracy/evasion basically IS the power curve for combat characters. If anything, you need to find better equiment on the ground as a smith than with a combat character due to this.

The dedicated smithing function of power to time is U-shaped; you start out smithing midgame equipment at the first forge which more than offset the initial investment (eg the 1500 xp investment of 4 skill + jeweler gets you two +1 accuracy/evasion rings early on, which are incidentally "worth" 1500 xp as soon as you reach 6 in the corresponding skill), then struggle as you make your way to staff of revelations depth (usually finding pieces of equipment surpassing your own from 400' and forward) and put together your smithing kit, and then finally getting your return of investment whilst scumming the deeper dungeon levels (ie where an ordinary combat character can already kill anything).

Quote:
In other words, it's there to guarantee that you won't miss out on $critical_equipment or to otherwise help you deal with an unexpected gap in object generation, not to let you craft your own artifacts. Viewed through this lens, it sounds like Sil crafting is basically fine up until you get to the high-end stuff. Would a valid response then to be to cap the maximum quality of smithable stuff?
There is no critical equipment. You can't approach dragons or lategame spiders without free action, you need to run from balrogs and fire drakes without fire resistance and if you plan to kill Morgoth you need free action and usually a sharp weapon as well. And sources of free action and rFire are plentiful enough for that purpose. For the rest, enough raw combat bonuses and perhaps an ability or two is like to see you through.

Light is an issue from the midgame forward to see dark monsters but can technically be boosted purely through abilities (keen senses, listen, inner light and song of the trees).

Quote:
Of course, Sil doesn't currently do that because Tolkein is full of stories about legendary craftsmen and their works, and the devs wanted some aspect of that to be doable in-game. But it always struck me as a little odd that the player is taking time out in the middle of incredibly hostile territory in order to do a little smithing.
This goes for any combat-oriented game with crafting mechanics, and it doesn't make sense for any number of reasons. Messes with timescale, too.
Infinitum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 27, 2016, 14:02   #5
taptap
Knight
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 705
taptap is on a distinguished road
I haven't played that much lately. Since the removal of 0.9 lb shortswords I am not into smithing anymore. (1.2) I believe the tension is between a "graceful" smith (e.g. mastery) who can use most smithing gear all around (all the grace boosters) vs. combat smiths that have little use for the +1 grace items in the final setup. <-> Hard to balance for both when one has much better synergy. Occasionally I found 3 forges at 100' and I wonder whether postponing the decision whether I go smithing until 100' can make a difference. As is I would only consider playing a smith when I plan on doing something for which I won't find suitable / equivalent equipment. (Ultralight shortsword in 1.1, maybe sharp shortsword, superstrength build with a custom warhammer, really heavy bow while Wyrm's End is too rare to rely on, meddling with 2lb spears or 4lb great spears -> spear assassin, intimidation pacifist.) The one thing I want to try is a win in the final house I haven't done (Beor), but there won't be room for smithing there.
taptap is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 27, 2016, 18:21   #6
wobbly
Veteran
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Adelaide, Australia
Posts: 1,063
wobbly is on a distinguished road
@Derakon - gap filling works if you're doing an odd hybrid like warrior/stealth on a dwarf. There you can build solid armour at the 1st forge when your dwarf is crap at sneaking then if you haven't found the stealth gear for the midgame you can fill it at a forge. For straight warriors, light is the only really critical thing you might fill as Infinitum already covered. There's some nice to haves like: dwarf mask of brilliance & a high dex feanor can make a mockery of the midgame with an early rauko-bow (before ringraukos, kemenraukos & Durin).

Most of the gap fillers for a build are unfortunately con drainers (=venom's end, cloaks of warmth, horns of blasting). Often safer to live without then lose the con. Unless you already know you have an herb of restoration.
wobbly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 27, 2016, 18:40   #7
wobbly
Veteran
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Adelaide, Australia
Posts: 1,063
wobbly is on a distinguished road
I'm splitting this rant into 3 to make it more readable.

Perhaps I'm not doing "real smiths" as I seem to not do any of the things you're supposed to do on a smith. The standard method seems a recipe for frustration. I'm not that into pain.

Putting lots of pts in smithing: So if I do this how many turns to kill an orc soldier? It's my hundredth as I'm also clearing levels & I want my 1xp. By the way another bunch of them wandered over while I was still flailing at the 1st one's armour. Maybe if I put less in smithing, I could kill bigger things, get more xp, maybe spend it on smithing? (Seriously I'm sure this wastes more time then the forge itself costs)

Clearing: Can't miss that forge. After all I need to build a... um... oh right I can't build anything worthwhile yet. Oh well doesn't matter, got false-floored anyway.

+3 smithing hammer: I never build these. I mean it's nice to have but I just wasted 170 turns & a vital forge. Am I any stronger? The turn clock says I have to push on now. Got +2 smithing though... (Dagmor is +1, spear of the vanyar is +1, feanorian blades are +1, smithing hammers are 1 less then you think.) My own opinion is masterpiece hammers are the only worthwhile smithing hammer.

High Grace?: Well if I'm a singer. Otherwise I'm pretty sure I'm going to put more pts in melee/evasion/stealth then smithing. I'm pretty sure if I'm lower in melee & low str that's a recipe for not being able to kill things.

So if we take my logic to it's extreme, to mega smith put nothing in smithing & dive fast. It's probably true. Fast diving a straight warrior to 950', you've got oddles of time left to smith. Plenty of forges at that level, trip over them all the time. Your surviving 950' so any spare xp can be put in smithing.

Of course you're now not a smith, but what I aim for is the in-between sensible smithing (something at the early forges to keep you alive) & the above. I find it a bit more fun then failing to kill orc soldiers at 150'

Last edited by wobbly; August 27, 2016 at 19:21.
wobbly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 27, 2016, 19:19   #8
wobbly
Veteran
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Adelaide, Australia
Posts: 1,063
wobbly is on a distinguished road
So apologies for long rant. Read or ignore as you prefer.

I'm using the last smith I played so I can see the actual no.'s. Hopefully it'll be easier to explain how I try & get round smithing dramas.

http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=19463

617-919 2x=protection + glaive

Just something solid to handle the early game. In this case a "round-shield" & a 2-hander so I can do actual damage at low skill, low str. Obviously the glaive doesn't last long, was just pre-buying weapon-smithing to not have to think about it later.

turn 4734 300' artiface troll/rauko slay bow

Pretty slow but wasn't actually clearing. Putting most in melee/evasion (The smithing xp I grabbed on that level). Nothing better then the game can generate. No Nargothrond bow dropped. They're rare & you can see it's still in my inventory (I swaped to the other bow for Glaurang). Seriously having rauko slay that early, if it's not a troll, not a rauko... it's a longbow on a feanor. still works.

turn 8676 600' killed Durin

Just dived. Didn't care about forges. Dead balrog from the early bow. Any ringrauko, kemenrauko, raukorauko etc. gets an arrow in the head.

turn 9085 700'
turn 12039 500' grace
turn 12248 500' feanorian lamp (+1 grace)

If your not bored by now, actual useful trick. If your going to clear - dive 1st then clear upwards. Much easier & quicker to clear when your set up to survive 100' or so lower. The grace on the lamp is probably a mistake. With extra light on it I would of saved the hassle of swapping shadow cloak for backup cloak.

turn 14662 950'

blah, more blah. Anyway see how much time you get left for forge scumming when you don't clear?

Anyway bored now. You can see the rest on the dump. 2 items better then anything in the game:

A sharp vampiric - ok the black blades do more actual damage, but the throne room took no healing consumable.

Mithril helm - rfire, rcold, light, majesty. Corrected my light mistake, needed to cover cold resist. Majesty just because I could afford to put more on it.
wobbly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 28, 2016, 12:38   #9
Infinitum
Adept
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 192
Infinitum is on a distinguished road
A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. Until you're already at 950', yeah. Couple more examples of my own of "not-smith" characters using small investment + smithing hammer for early light and lategame sharp weapon. Well, the first anyhow. The second cocked it all up by finding Ringil before the deed (and also sort of illustrates how smithing is at its best when not needed to begin with; the amulet I ended up with is good, but not that much better than a plain +2 constitution amulet, and certainly not worth the 9 point + artifice + weaponsmith investment). Reading the log, I found Saithnar before making my sword o' friendship in the first one as well so probably could've offed V anyhow. Meh.

http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=19299
http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=19441
Infinitum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 29, 2016, 20:20   #10
seraph
Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 70
seraph is on a distinguished road
my understanding is that smithing was overpowered in previous versions, and was nerfed by the (effective) removal of most curses. perhaps curses could be reintroduced but with less reduction of difficulty. then add an option to add curses to non-artifacts.
seraph 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
Smithing penalties Oboros Sil 2 May 4, 2015 19:13
Smithing Catalog intently Sil 28 May 10, 2014 20:13
My stupid opinions: smithing bron Sil 18 March 18, 2014 15:20
Starting as archer without smithing Arjen Sil 34 December 12, 2013 08:55
Sil: Smithing starts? BlueFish Sil 22 October 15, 2013 17:16


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 03:47.


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