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Old July 31, 2011, 16:58   #1
buzzkill
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Making Stealth Highly Class Level Dependent.

I was thinking about the mechanics of Angband, as I often do when nothing else of much import is occupying my mind. I came up with this loosely outlined approach to Stealth which varies greatly from what we have now.

This isn't necessarily for V, though I don't think that it's too radical V either. There's only one part* of this that I feel won't mesh well with traditional V (whatever that is).

In short, as the thread title indicates, my plan is to make stealth much more level dependent. Much like HP's or fighting ability, stealth will increase with each level (or few levels) gained. Stealthy classes will get bigger boosts per level, less stealthy classes small, and really non-stealthy race/class combos very little. (maybe a hobbit rogue would get a 1 pt. stealth boost every single level and half-troll paladins a 1 pt. boost every 10, and everything else somewhere in between).

My goal is that a stealthy ~CL10 character will be stealthy versus ~DL20 enemies. That same character wouldn't be so stealthy versus ~DL40 (of similar alertness) enemies and not at all stealthy vs (similar) ~DL60 enemies. I feel this meshes well with fantasy lore and would solve the fundamental problem (as I see it) of a fairly low level, yet highly stealthy, character successfully sneaking around the deepest levels of the dungeon. In short, the further OoD you are, the harder (but not impossible) it's going to be for you to move about unnoticed. Building a stealthy character with a non-stealthy race/class combo will be choice (sacrifice will have to be made), not just a side effect of an otherwise useful kit.

It would be a major change from what we have now, almost everything will have to be rescaled. Since stealth numbers will grow much larger than currently attainable, it will requiring a revamp of the alertness numbers for nearly all monsters. The deeper the monster, the more progressively alert they will have to be in order to keep pace with the ever stealthier character.

*It's possible that even stealth boosting items will have to be scaled to the character. I can foresee the need for boots of stealth (+3) being more effective on a hobbit than on a troll, maybe functioning effectively as (+9) for the hobbit, else stealthy gear would be far more beneficial to to non-stealthy characters, which I feel is counter-intuitive.

If you don't 'get it' yet, think of it this way. The character would grow naturally stealthier as they gain experience (gain levels), as they should. Stealth would not simply be a function of finding stealthy gear, though that would still help too. In compensation, monsters would grow more alert as they progress in power. An ancient dragon shouldn't be oblivious be a CL7 rouge, even if that rogue has really nice boots. In this new scenario, it won't be.

It's a raw idea, but I feel it's a very good one, at least better than what we have now. It would help to differentiate the classes further. I haven't put any hard numbers to it yet and doubt that I will develop it any further on my own. I'm throwing it out here for community scrutiny/development and so that anyone who feels that it may have some potential to flesh it out further.
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Old July 31, 2011, 19:30   #2
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It's an interesting idea but I'm not sure how much you gain. If you're willing to code it up, I'd try it out though.

Right now the game compensates for stealthy characters with hounds, which no amount of stealth allows you to sneak by. Would hounds in your game still be automatically awake?
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Old July 31, 2011, 21:47   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzkill View Post
My goal is that a stealthy ~CL10 character will be stealthy versus ~DL20 enemies. That same character wouldn't be so stealthy versus ~DL40 (of similar alertness) enemies and not at all stealthy vs (similar) ~DL60 enemies. I feel this meshes well with fantasy lore and would solve the fundamental problem (as I see it) of a fairly low level, yet highly stealthy, character successfully sneaking around the deepest levels of the dungeon. In short, the further OoD you are, the harder (but not impossible) it's going to be for you to move about unnoticed. Building a stealthy character with a non-stealthy race/class combo will be choice (sacrifice will have to be made), not just a side effect of an otherwise useful kit.
I like the general principle here. The other ingredient you will need is for monsters to wake more easily deeper.
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Old July 31, 2011, 22:55   #4
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Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
It's an interesting idea but I'm not sure how much you gain. If you're willing to code it up, I'd try it out though.

Right now the game compensates for stealthy characters with hounds, which no amount of stealth allows you to sneak by. Would hounds in your game still be automatically awake?
I've no real coding skills, so me doing it isn't a viable option in the near term.

As for hounds, we can cross that bridge when it comes to that. I could see high level stealthy builds being able to evade even hounds, certainly low-tier hounds. If hounds did start out asleep, I'd imagine only the most stealthy character, operating relatively in depth, would be able to keep them asleep very long.

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I like the general principle here. The other ingredient you will need is for monsters to wake more easily deeper.
I though I covered that bit. ... it will requiring a revamp of the alertness numbers for nearly all monsters. The deeper the monster, the more progressively alert they will have to be in order to keep pace with the ever stealthier character.
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Old July 31, 2011, 23:01   #5
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I though I covered that bit. ... it will requiring a revamp of the alertness numbers for nearly all monsters. The deeper the monster, the more progressively alert they will have to be in order to keep pace with the ever stealthier character.
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Old August 1, 2011, 02:47   #6
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Originally Posted by buzzkill View Post
I've no real coding skills, so me doing it isn't a viable option in the near term.

As for hounds, we can cross that bridge when it comes to that. I could see high level stealthy builds being able to evade even hounds, certainly low-tier hounds. If hounds did start out asleep, I'd imagine only the most stealthy character, operating relatively in depth, would be able to keep them asleep very long.
I have no real coding skills either...that hasn't stopped me.

Most of the stuff doesn't need difficult coding anyway. The edit files already have a 'stealth gain per level' column. And changing monster alertness is trivial also. You can start playing around with those and see how close you can get to what you want. If you need to revamp the probability of a monster waking up, then you might need to code some.
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Old August 1, 2011, 04:26   #7
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The main issue here is that you'll also need to recode the stealth calculations, since they currently have a range of only (IIRC) 0-27. Moreover that range is exponential, so you really don't have much room to work.
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Old August 1, 2011, 06:59   #8
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The main issue here is that you'll also need to recode the stealth calculations, since they currently have a range of only (IIRC) 0-27. Moreover that range is exponential, so you really don't have much room to work.
Fortunately that's only done at one place in the code, so the effort required is to come up with a new algorithm - coding it will be relatively simple.

But I thought people really didn't want things to get more level-dependent. Or is stealth an exception to that general sentiment?
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Old August 1, 2011, 14:00   #9
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Fortunately that's only done at one place in the code, so the effort required is to come up with a new algorithm - coding it will be relatively simple.

But I thought people really didn't want things to get more level-dependent. Or is stealth an exception to that general sentiment?
*I* want some things to be more class level dependent. Especially SP and to a smaller extent HP. However, I always feel like I'm in the minority here.
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Old August 1, 2011, 14:18   #10
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*I* want some things to be more class level dependent. Especially SP and to a smaller extent HP. However, I always feel like I'm in the minority here.
I second that sentiment, and have strong emphasis on stealth being level-dependent skill (it is in fact skill, not just some innate ability). I also think that heavy armors should reduce stealth by nature, not by pval. A bit like they do for to-hit now.

Every and all warrior-classes should exceed spellcasters in stealth at the end, beginning can be other way around.
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