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Old April 6, 2009, 15:04   #1
PaulBlay
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Suggestion : Make exp penalty hurt (but not too much ;-)

My suggestion comes in two parts. First although a High Elf should take rather longer to get there than a Kobold both character races reach the same maximum level. So, IMO, the exp penalty doesn't hurt as much as it should.

What I suggest instead is that instead of a maximum level there should be a maximum exp value. A character with a exp penalty of 0% could reach level 50 with that maximum exp, characters with high exp penalties won't be able to get that high a maximum level and those with lower than zero exp penalties can actually get above level 50.

Second part of the suggestion. Try to smooth out 'bumps' in the level progression. If warriors get +1 blow at level 50, most people won't want to play a race that only gets to level 48. One possibility is to implement 'fractional blows'. A fighter with 3.1 blows would get 3 blows most of the time, and 4 blows once every ten rounds.

Actually, because there are more exp penalties than bonuses, there should probably be a bit of rebalancing (say try reducing exp penalties on all races and classes by 10%).
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Old April 6, 2009, 17:48   #2
Atarlost
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You do realize the game is balanced for races with exp penalties, don't you? Humans are considered a challenge race.
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Old April 6, 2009, 18:03   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atarlost View Post
You do realize the game is balanced for races with exp penalties, don't you? Humans are considered a challenge race.
The fact that the exp penalties exist is simply because some races are 'better' than others. That non-human races like High-Elves are so popular just makes it clear that the playing field isn't level.

If you're just going to take the position that some races are intentionally harder/easier than others and it's meant to be like that then why not just dump the exp penalty system entirely and introduce a point bonus based on which race you choose?
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Old April 6, 2009, 18:47   #4
Pete Mack
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I don't understand your criticism. Of course some races are easier than others, and the EXP penalty makes a small balancing contribution in the other direction.

But what do you mean by a "point bonus"?

IMO, the current model is adequate, not broken. (And it works better than the strange model in FA.)
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Old April 6, 2009, 19:12   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Mack View Post
I don't understand your criticism. Of course some races are easier than others, and the EXP penalty makes a small balancing contribution in the other direction.
That's it. I don't see why some races should (intentionally) be easier than others. It isn't like there are birth options like IRONMAN_PLAYHUMAN

I think people should be choosing races because they're cool, because they suit their game style or because they suit the class they want to play but not because they are easier (or harder) than other races.

My suggestion is basically similar to how the Effective Character Level is often handled in D&D based games. You can play a Drow and get all the nice racial bonuses and abilities, but if they're handing out enough XP to get standard characters to level 20 you'll only get to 18.

Quote:
But what do you mean by a "point bonus"?
All other things being equal have PCs of 'harder' races turn up higher on the ladder than 'easier' races. I was only half serious about that suggestion.
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Old April 6, 2009, 19:15   #6
Pete Mack
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Quote:
My suggestion is basically similar to how the Effective Character Level is often handled in D&D based games. You can play a Drow and get all the nice racial bonuses and abilities, but if they're handing out enough XP to get standard characters to level 20 you'll only get to 18.
That is exactly how things work currently--a 100% experience penalty corresponds to about a 2-3 level penalty in character level.
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Old April 6, 2009, 19:24   #7
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Originally Posted by Pete Mack View Post
That is exactly how things work currently--a 100% experience penalty corresponds to about a 2-3 level penalty in character level.
The point is that that '2-3 level penalty' only lasts the relatively short time until they get the extra exp to hit the hard level cap. If there was a hard exp cap instead then there would be a real disincentive for choosing those races (and a real incentive for choosing other ones).
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Old April 6, 2009, 19:34   #8
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And most people find Angband hard enough with high elves that can get to level 50. Going the other way and making humans and kobolds and half-elves more powerful will upset the people who want a challenge level between V dwarf and some over-the-top-sadistic variant.
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Old April 6, 2009, 21:14   #9
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@paul
the difference between cl 47 and cl 50 is incremental--something like 75HP and 50-100 points to_hit. (For mage, it's also 9% improvement in mana storm casting.)

So why should it take long to get from one to the other? By that point, you are generally focusing on getting endgame materials, not on advancing you EXP anyway. (EXP matters most between cl 30 and cl 40-45, where I tend to find it hardest to advance.)
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Old April 6, 2009, 21:56   #10
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I think this is related to the issue of whether the game is balanced for divers or scummers (sorry, fast or slow players - or whatever labels you don't find offensive). If you play at Neo speed (very slowly), it's true that the exp penalty is largely irrelevant - but if you dive, it can be very significant facing Morgy at cl44 rather than 47 (or whatever).

Personally I disagree with Paul's basic premise that all races should be equally attractive. If they were to be made equally attractive, an exp penalty alone is a very ham-fisted way to do it. IMO it's equally ham-fisted in D&D - ISTR there are quite a lot more Deep Gnomes running around than half-elves ... and besides, Angband has come a long way from D&D ...

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