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Old February 1, 2012, 15:34   #11
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
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".
...and I don't necessarily disagree with you on this, maybe my numbers were a bit to strict, but limiting (for example) a mage to a substantially lesser degree of combat prowess than, let's say, an similarly equipped fighter seems like a good idea in theory. I'll defer though, as you know more about the numbers than I.
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Old February 1, 2012, 16:07   #12
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The mage's finesse and prowess skills are the worst in the game; IIRC the mage tops out at level 50 with maybe 60-80 of each. Compare warriors which are more around 300 and you should have some idea of the spread. My initial goal was for melee classes to get 1/3rd of their FIN/PRO from gear, 1/3rd from stats, and 1/3rd from class, for reference. Everyone gets the same benefits from stats and equipment, which means that the mage can be at worst around 1/2 the skill of the warrior (considering mage stat caps on STR and DEX aren't so great either).
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Old February 1, 2012, 17:07   #13
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
The mage's finesse and prowess skills are the worst in the game; IIRC the mage tops out at level 50 with maybe 60-80 of each. Compare warriors which are more around 300 and you should have some idea of the spread. My initial goal was for melee classes to get 1/3rd of their FIN/PRO from gear, 1/3rd from stats, and 1/3rd from class, for reference. Everyone gets the same benefits from stats and equipment, which means that the mage can be at worst around 1/2 the skill of the warrior (considering mage stat caps on STR and DEX aren't so great either).
... which means, given the above kit, the status-quo mage gets a ~700% boost and the warrior a mere ~100%. Doesn't seem odd to you that a warrior's gear be so much more beneficial to a mage? (and again I'm not talking v4 specifically, just generally, assuming these principals hold true throughout V and variants).
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Old February 1, 2012, 17:27   #14
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... which means, given the above kit, the status-quo mage gets a ~700% boost and the warrior a mere ~100%. Doesn't seem odd to you that a warrior's gear be so much more beneficial to a mage? (and again I'm not talking v4 specifically, just generally, assuming these principals hold true throughout V and variants).
What matters is not how much better they are at melee with the equipment vs. without it, but whether or not melee is useful to the character. Utility depends on fixed, not relative, values -- things like how much damage they can deal and how many HP they have.

So yes, a mage's ability to perform in combat depends overwhelmingly more on their gear than a warrior's. Read that as the warrior being able to be effective even when armed with a stick, while the mage requires powerful magical artifacts if they want the target of their aggression to even notice them. The warrior will still value those powerful magical artifacts because more is better; they just don't need them as much. Which is good, because melee is the warrior's primary means of dealing damage, while the mage can always fall back on spellcasting.

If you did have a multiplier in there that meant that warriors got more "relative value" out of powerful gear than mages did (that is, the proportional increase in their FIN/PRO stats was higher), then you'd either end up with overpowered warriors ("this weapon that makes melee barely feasible for mages turns me into a godslaying beast!") or mages that will never ever want to engage in melee ("well, this weapon would be awesome, but I only get half its bonuses, so why bother?").
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Old February 1, 2012, 18:35   #15
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<sinp>... or mages that will never ever want to engage in melee ("well, this weapon would be awesome, but I only get half its bonuses, so why bother?").
He would bother because a 100% boost to combat, while possibly not earth-shattering and while only 50% of the weapons full capability in more skilled hands, is better than nothing... or he could bother to find some more magely to wield instead. Are there any mage-centric weapons?

Magic books, even the really good ones, are 1000% useless to warriors, regardless of an uber-magely kit or not. Why shouldn't an occasional awesome weapon be nearly as useless to a full caster? I see your PoV, I just like mine better. This may be one of those "agree to disagree" moments.

Maybe my scale needs to be inverted (numbers made up, may not be accurate)
Code:
Full-fighter = natural 400, enhanced ~800, unlimited
Half-caster  = natural 250, enhanced up to ~500, 200% max
Full-caster  = natural  75, enhanced up to ~300, 400% max
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Old February 1, 2012, 19:25   #16
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He would bother because a 100% boost to combat, while possibly not earth-shattering and while only 50% of the weapons full capability in more skilled hands, is better than nothing... or he could bother to find some more magely to wield instead. Are there any mage-centric weapons?
My point is that a 100% boost to combat is useless when your base combat skill is so low. You go from maybe being able to melee cave orcs to maybe being able to melee uruks, when you're trying to kill a pack of Plasma Hounds. You need your base skill + bonus from weapons to hit a minimum threshold before combat is worth using; otherwise you use something else.

For example (making numbers up), say your base combat skill is 1. You need a combat skill of at least 200, and ideally even higher, to be able to reasonably consider fighting an ancient dragon. Thus you need a weapon that boosts your skill by a whopping 20000% if ancient dragons are to be on the menu. Otherwise it's not worth bothering. Now, if your base skill is 150, then you only need a 33% boost before ancient dragons are valid targets. If you had that same skill-200 weapon that the weeny skill-1 character had, then your proportional gain (going from 150 to 350) would be only 233%. But you'd still be way better off with that weapon than the weeny would be, because the absolute difference in skill (150 points) is significant.

I get where you're coming from; it seems odd that mages get proportionally more from their weapons than warriors do. But I think you're coming at it from the wrong angle. Mages are so bad at combat that they need amazing mythical weapons to be able to consider it. Warriors can get by in combat with just about any old thing. And of course if the warrior gets an amazing mythical weapon, then he'll kick way more arse with it than the mage would.
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Old February 1, 2012, 21:44   #17
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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.
Spotted and fixed in my branch - so will be in v4 any year now ...
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Old February 1, 2012, 21:56   #18
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I get where you're coming from; it seems odd that mages get proportionally more from their weapons than warriors do. But I think you're coming at it from the wrong angle. Mages are so bad at combat that they need amazing mythical weapons to be able to consider it. Warriors can get by in combat with just about any old thing. And of course if the warrior gets an amazing mythical weapon, then he'll kick way more arse with it than the mage would.
I think you're both right. I don't think we need to change the benefit that magi currently receive from generic equipment - but I don't see why Angband can't have warrior-specific equipment too. Shuriken? (d_m wanted to make throwing viable). Warrior's Plate? Maybe the top end of each category (Bulwarks, Full Plate etc.) could be wearable only by warriors. I dunno, just thinking out loud. There was a thread about making more caster-specific gear a few months ago (war staves and so on), but I don't think we've had a debate about warrior gear yet.
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Old February 1, 2012, 23:17   #19
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To the extent that we have class-specific gear, it should be because nobody outside the class would usually want to use it, not because it has a tag on it reading "Violators of the Affirmative Class Action Act of the Third Age may be subject to fines and towing." High-end warrior gear would be heavy and possibly reduce WIS/INT, for example.

Spellbooks and the "blessed" flag are idiosyncracies here. I still personally think that the priest pointy penalty is a problem and should probably be put to bed. Spellbooks get a bit of a pass because just under half the classes can use each spellbook and, at least in the old days, they made excellent stores of value for when you were selling loot. But I wouldn't mind seeing outside-class uses for them. Maybe you could "burn" dungeon spellbooks to cast certain spells, basically turning them into high-end not-really-stockpileable one-shot consumables. Or of course in v4 right now they're artifacts, so at least you only deal with each one once.
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Old February 2, 2012, 03:02   #20
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I would like to bring up this point. My mage currently has ~ 18(150) dex and 18(90) str and is still only getting 1.5 swings per round with the hammer. Once the crit chance bug is fixed this will be WAY less powerful than the same weapon in the hands of a warrior, who I would assume would get at least 3 attacks per round, if not more. At least, I imagine this to be the case. I am not sure how blows work in the new system.

In any event, this balances out problem we have been talking about.
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