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Old July 25, 2016, 20:02   #11
Estie
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I would like to know what the op wants to "balance", too.
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Old July 25, 2016, 20:02   #12
Pete Mack
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@Derakon--
A keymap for "shoot at nearest target" or "shoot at current target" makes for a big reduction in tedium. (Also one for "Rest 10 turns or until disturbed" mapped to 's' as a replacement for search.)

@brbrbr-spam blink in a narrow grid room, followed by spamming it in destructed zone when the grid was used up. Also used rune for a few rounds as a change of pace. Used CLW spell after favorable phase. And Morgoth cast very few spells, largely because 1050 (holy might) or 950 (slay evil) damage/turn is so overwhelming.

For Ungoliant, brand frost and brand fire ammo killed her in very few turns. To be sure, it would take a long time with ordinary ammo, but what Ranger would do that?
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Old July 25, 2016, 20:10   #13
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@estie--
I meant fun to play, repeatably. Late game Ranger is just silly after more than a game or two. I suppose if you play for absolute minimum turns, it can be made more challenging. But that style appeals only to a fraction of players.
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Old July 25, 2016, 20:37   #14
Estie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Mack View Post
@estie--
I meant fun to play, repeatably. Late game Ranger is just silly after more than a game or two. I suppose if you play for absolute minimum turns, it can be made more challenging. But that style appeals only to a fraction of players.
I guess that is a matter of taste. In my book, ranger is on the "unfun" side to play, not because, but despite the ability to kill uniques easily. So reducing his ability to do that would shift him even further down the line. Even using macros, archery is a hassle compared to melee or spells.

If I want a quick "fun" game, I go for rogue or one of the casters. All 3 take substantially less real time to win with than the ranger, even assuming that the latter gets lucky with items. I never play for turncount, so I wont comment on that.

I am curious what you find about rune; sure, its great against melee attackers, but those are the least of my worries. I use if versus Morgoth, but rarely before; phasing does the same job.
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Old July 25, 2016, 20:48   #15
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Phase door doesn't work well against summoners or mobs. Rune let's you handle monster lots without stopping to rest, or wasting consumables. Remember, most big breathers don't actually breathe very often. With rune, they can't soften you up with melee.
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Old July 26, 2016, 05:25   #16
A Magical Lamp
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I don't think it'd be particularly fair to just nerf Ranger's endgame strength. They're a very power spike-y class, they need to be that strong to justify how annoying it can be to get them there. You'd need to flatten out their whole power curve and I'm not sure how you'd do it since the class is fundamentally built around using finite ammunition.
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Old July 26, 2016, 06:05   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Magical Lamp View Post
I don't think it'd be particularly fair to just nerf Ranger's endgame strength. They're a very power spike-y class, they need to be that strong to justify how annoying it can be to get them there. You'd need to flatten out their whole power curve and I'm not sure how you'd do it since the class is fundamentally built around using finite ammunition.
They wouldn't need to be so strong if it weren't as annoying to get them there. Hence my suggestions to a) reduce the tedium of using archery, and b) even out the power curve a bit. It doesn't need to be a flat power curve (maybe a late-game ranger "spell" could be Fast Shot, which just fires twice in a row), but the current endgame is a little ridiculous and the current early game is a little punitive.
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Old July 26, 2016, 06:54   #18
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Well, angband used to fire all the extra shots in a single turn. One of the strengths of rangers is that extra shots do take fractional turns. (And yes, I understand the tedium, you can again make a keymap that keeps firing but disturbs on movement.) This makes for all sorts of opportunities, in particular:
* guaranteeing faster monsters out of LOS don't get the first move when the come around the corner. This saves a bit on guaranteed escapes, and also always lets you get a knight-move shot, even for faster monsters.
* giving you an extra shot or two prior to using phase to avoid melee.
The latter I use a whole lot. The former, almost never, because it's a bit tedious not to just rest until the monster is visible.

So I actually like the possibility of fractional turns. Note that using a spell adds even more tedium.
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Old July 26, 2016, 15:51   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Mack View Post
Well, angband used to fire all the extra shots in a single turn. One of the strengths of rangers is that extra shots do take fractional turns. (And yes, I understand the tedium, you can again make a keymap that keeps firing but disturbs on movement.) This makes for all sorts of opportunities, in particular:
* guaranteeing faster monsters out of LOS don't get the first move when the come around the corner. This saves a bit on guaranteed escapes, and also always lets you get a knight-move shot, even for faster monsters.
* giving you an extra shot or two prior to using phase to avoid melee.
The latter I use a whole lot. The former, almost never, because it's a bit tedious not to just rest until the monster is visible.

So I actually like the possibility of fractional turns. Note that using a spell adds even more tedium.
I don't disagree with you re: the power that fractional turns provide, but it's a subtle power that most players need to have explained to them (we should not assume that the average player reads these forums, for example). It's also frankly a kind of weird power, and I think I'd be happier if we had fewer strange interactions with the time/energy system.

Spells can be keymapped too, you know. And it's not so much the act of firing that I find tedious with rangers, it's the inventory management of all of the individual ammo pieces. And having to pick them up again after firing them, but I'm not sure how to fix that one without making ammo either one-use-only (greatly exacerbating inventory strain as you'd need to carry more ammo) or implicit (greatly reducing inventory strain as you'd no longer need to carry ammo at all).

My goal with the suggestions I made was to turn the ranger from a class that's powerful in strange and over-subtle ways to one that's powerful in more overt, straightforward ways. And also to reduce tedium. Plus I think adding more spells is a great way to differentiate classes because it gives them extra abilities that can be invoked on demand.

(Also, I don't ever recall playing a Vanilla where extra shots were fired automatically)
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Old July 26, 2016, 18:23   #20
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Myself I am torn: on the one hand, I would love to get rid of the tedium and simplify archery (for example, by removing ammo alltogether; you just buy/find "quivers of ammo X", equip it, and from there on are able to shoot arrow type X indefinitely).
On the other hand I love the burst aspect that limited stacks of special ammo provide. My main gripe is in fact not even the hassle so much as the situation that there is very little worth bursting. The ability to easily kill uniques is devalued by the fact that there is little profit from killing uniques. You can flatten Ungoliant in a few turns, so what, if she gives you trouble, just leave her alive.

As for "balance":

I hate games where, come lategame, the archer has to pump every single monster full of multiple quivers of arrows to kill it. Diablo I is such a one, where you have to repair your bow after every encounter (and people basically stopped using archery in the endgame).

The rule I would set here is that in the time it takes a normal monster to cross the room into melee range, it should be possible to substantially reduce its health by shooting, below 50% or so. "Normal" here means anything that can appear in masses, so includes things like greater demons. If this rule in a hassle-less situation leads to too easy a game for the ranger, I would look to reduce his defenses to keep up the challenge.

Last edited by Estie; July 26, 2016 at 18:23. Reason: edit: typo
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