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Old January 29, 2012, 03:31   #1
Old Coach
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Critical Hits with Mage

So...
I am down in depths of about 55 when I find the Great Hammer of Aule.
I am getting tired of having to avoid anything with elemental resistance because I am playing a mage with no way to damage such critters (no artifact book of battle spells yet). I teleport into a hallway between a mature and ancient multihued dragons, asleep.
hmmm.
hmmm.
I decide to just try the hammer, even though I would only get one swing per round instead of 2.5-ish. I had been using turmoril for the elemental immunity.
1 swing, dead mature dragon.
Hmmm.
I swing at the ancient.
Dead in two swings, but fleeing and nearly dead after 1.
Hmmm.

I then went on a killing spree and took some quick stats.
out of 40 swings, 33 were *GREAT* hits, 3 were great, 1 was superb, and 3 were regular.

This seems like too many crit hits for a mage.
I was wearing an amulet of weapon mastery at the time. I traded it for an amulet of trickery, and this toned it down somewhat. I wanted to switch back and forth to see how much it helped the crit process, but a lightning dragon sparked it when I dropped it.

Now, I went from not being able to touch anything with a weapon, including Ringil, to being able to three shot Great Wurms of Law with the Hammer of Aule. This with a Mage of strength 18/40 and dex 18/80.

I am not sure if this is solely a product of the weapon. It is heavy, does 18d1 damage (yowsa!!) and has massive finess and power bonuses. Is the crit system still being optimized? Everthing seemed to be working the way I expected, that is, my mage was an invalid in combat but could occasionally get lucky and stab something, until I picked up the hammer and amulet, oh, and gloves cambeleg. Now I barely use spells except for utility.
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Old January 29, 2012, 03:58   #2
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Hm, that's probably not right. Aule gets +210 to prowess at a 90% multiplier. Assuming you get another +100 from your character that means you're doing 18 * (3.1 * .9 + 4) = 122.22 base damage per blow against dragons (the +4 is the "kill dragon" additional multiplier). *GREAT* hits multiply that by 4 and then add 20 more damage, so we're talking 530 damage/blow here.

The critical hit chance clearly still needs work. Currently it's given by
(applied finesse ^ 2 + applied prowess ^ 2) / 2500 + 1. Your applied finesse should be basically zero because of Aulė's pathetic finesse multiplier, but your applied prowess (that is, prowess * .9) should be around 280, which means your crit chance is around 31%. That should result in regular crits, but you'd have to pass that chance five times in a row to get a *GREAT* crit, at odds of about .3%. So either you're getting a lot more prowess from somewhere (obviously I don't have a character dump to look at) or the crit generator's getting stuck somehow.
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Old January 29, 2012, 05:11   #3
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I don't have access to that computer until monday. I'll take a look at it and figure out what other bonuses I had. The Gloves Cambeleg and the amulet of weapon mastery were also bumping up finesse and power.
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Old January 31, 2012, 20:53   #4
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I picked up another amulet of weapon mastery.
Now, my base prowess is 52. Hammer gives 210, ring gives 20, amulet gives 50, cammithrim gives 50, for a total (I guess) of 382. The character screen only shows the 52 for my lvl 50 mage. Prowess is 117 (base) plus 290, so finesse is almost negligible in the crit algorithm.
So, crit chance = 49%. Still too low to get all those *Great* hits. It seems like every hit I get against a dragon is *GREAT*. Could the 4x multiplier for the slay be used in the crit chance?

Also, The current system for determining a crit heavily favors the weapons that are heavily weighted towards either prowess or finesse, but against the weapons that are more balanced. Not sure if this is desired, but I like it.
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Old January 31, 2012, 21:52   #5
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The "finesse" displayed on the right-hand side of your character sheet is just the skill bonus you get from your class, level, and race. The compounded value is shown under "Fight" or "Melee" in the center column.

For crit calculations, use your applied prowess, which is prowess multiplied by your weapon's heft, which is .9 for Aule. That gives (382 * .9) = 343 as the value that gets squared in the crit calculations, giving a crit chance of 47% from prowess alone.

I agree that it's not the base crit chance that's screwy but rather the fact that you're getting super-crits all the time. Dunno what's going on there unless my knowledge of the crit code is out of date -- I'm still looking at the code as of the last time I loaded it onto my laptop back in early January.
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Old January 31, 2012, 22:11   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
I agree that it's not the base crit chance that's screwy but rather the fact that you're getting super-crits all the time. Dunno what's going on there unless my knowledge of the crit code is out of date.
From your description earlier about it needing to pass the same check five times, and the numbers Old Coach reports, it sounds like that base chance has somehow (I offer no explanations of how this might have happened) managed to get up close to 100% (certainly above 90%), so it's very easy for it to keep on passing the check until the end. Of course this isn't the only way to get that result, but it seems like it would be a natural way for it to have occurred.
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Old February 1, 2012, 03:18   #7
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Something strange must be going on with the script because it is almost always a *Great* hit, and never a *SUPERB* hit. why always pass five times but never 6? Or, is SUPERB no longer in the script?
Perhaps the RNG is getting primed by the same input?
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Old February 1, 2012, 03:28   #8
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Okay, that's a bug -- the *SUPERB* crit is impossible because crit supercharging stops after the power level hits 4, while that crit is power level 5. So that should be fixed.
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Old February 1, 2012, 15:02   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Coach View Post
I picked up another amulet of weapon mastery.
Now, my base prowess is 52. Hammer gives 210, ring gives 20, amulet gives 50, cammithrim gives 50, for a total (I guess) of 382.
Aside from the critical hit problem, these huge boosts just seem unnatural to me (seeing them in print). Base prowess of 52 is then increased over 700% by equipment. Does anyone think that limiting the top-end of 'to hit' boosts would benefit game play? What if a mage's enhanced prowess couldn't exceed 200% of his natural prowess, a half-caster 300%, a warriors 400%? It would certainly make a mage more mage-like. I'm talking V too, not just v4.

The way it's sits right now, it sounds more like the equipment is wielding the mage rather than the other way around.
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Old February 1, 2012, 15:14   #10
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I will continue to maintain that Angband mages ought to be able to kick ass when they need to. Subverting the standard mage tropes is a good thing. Mages should generally prefer to use spells, and the fact that Aule is being so effective here is a bug, but I'm not about to modify the game so that mages never want to use melee. If they find bloody awesome weapons, and Aule is one of those, then they should be interested in using them, and not just as "stat sticks".
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