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Old May 24, 2010, 16:24   #1
ClaytonAguiar
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Thinking about weapon slots.

Hi,

If I can wield, at the same time, a bow and a melee weapon, why can't I have the choice to wield two melee weapons and no ranged weapons at all?

It could be implemented this way:
- The current "b" slot would allow any weapon, not just bows, slings, etc
- Attacks would alternate between "a" and "b" every attack, automatically (if the slots are not empty).

Some older flavor of Angband (FAngband, I guess) had the "spare weapon" feature. The "b" slot allowed any weapon, but you had to press x to alternate between them. There was no ranged-specific slot. My spare weapon was initially a digger and, later, a crossbow.

This lead to another question: If digging is a common task, why don't add a digger-specific, non-weapon slot? This would ease money-collecting for low level players, specially the novice ones, who prefer to buy instead of find items.
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Old May 24, 2010, 17:21   #2
Derakon
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If you can wield a weapon, a bow, a lantern, and a shield, and still be able to pull things out of your backpack on a moments notice, why can't you give up all those abilities and instead pentuple-wield?

Generally I find duel-wielding to be a silly trope which should only be used in silly games. Angband isn't one of those games (though some of its variants qualify).

As for digging, frankly I think that diggers should be de-emphasized as equipment and digging for money should probably be removed. It teaches bad habits (i.e. lingering on levels too long). You should only be carrying a digging implement for tactical setups, and then only if you aren't strong enough to dig with your normal weapon.
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Old May 24, 2010, 19:08   #3
Zyphyr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
As for digging, frankly I think that diggers should be de-emphasized as equipment and digging for money should probably be removed. It teaches bad habits (i.e. lingering on levels too long). You should only be carrying a digging implement for tactical setups, and then only if you aren't strong enough to dig with your normal weapon.
The possibility of making bad choices is a good thing.
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Old May 24, 2010, 19:16   #4
Tiburon Silverflame
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Removing digging for cash is something I could agree with. Let's face it: it's ONLY useful on the very first few levels, and ONLY if you're not really planning to drop below level 4 or 5 on that first trip. Even with a conservative approach: fill up with potions/scrolls and a few items, probably Recall from level 3 on the first trip; work down to 7ish on the second...there's no point in digging for cash on the third.

And there's few cases where you need to use tactical digging before stat-gain levels. It's a useful tactic against the early hound packs, but often it's not essential. They're not aggressive enough in pursuit, so it's usually easy to duck around a corner. Tactical digging is more important during/after stat gain, and at that point you'll usually have a heavier weapon that's fine as a digger. I wouldn't mind seeing all the diggers just removed altogether; worst case, maybe add a rod of tunneling that does Stone to Mud, with a recharge time of something like 20. If for no other reason than weight, I'd rather carry that, if I needed it, than a 6 lb. shovel. For me, all the diggers qualify as Junk.

As far as dual-wielding goes, why would you want to alternate between 2 weapons? One is going to be better than the other, for dealing damage; isn't that the one that you want to use *all* the time? Sure, one might be better than the other against specific foes, but that's handled by a normal weapons swap, not by dual-wielding.

The usual technical advantage of dual-wielding is to give MORE attacks; the off-hand weapon's allowed to make attacks in addition to the primary weapon. Something like this might be feasible, albeit complex to define and balance. And I'd bet that, push comes to shove, people won't use it much. Even if you're not a ranger, bows are likely to be superior.
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Old May 24, 2010, 19:35   #5
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Although I haven't dug for cash in a long time, I would not want it removed. Digging for cash is a great way for a first time player to get enough money to buy some stuff before they learn what they actually need. It's there for introductory help for new players and I would be loath to remove it.
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Old May 24, 2010, 19:36   #6
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Historical dual wielding usually has the secondary weapon used primarily for parrying, not attack, much like a shield, and shields would be used offensively to a degree just like a main gauche or other secondary weapon.

I'd therefore ditch the shield slot. Shields would become weapons. You get one free attack with your off-hand weapon (unless it itself has the extra attacks flag) and the main weapon gets attacks as it currently does, but doesn't gain attacks from the off-hand weapon. (similarly to how it currently gains +hit/+dam from jewelry but not from your bow)

Replacing the bow with a pair (two allow both primary and secondary melee weapons to be stowed) of "back" slots, of which a launcher or two handed weapon takes two is reasonable as well and opens up a new line of combo weapons. Crossbows can be built with bayonets and sturdy enough staff slings can double as quarterstaffs, allowing them to act simultaneously as melee and ranged weapons, while being less good at either individual role than the best dedicated weapons (maybe for example only light crossbows can mount bayonets or they preclude some egos and aren't on the best [as ranged weapons alone] artifacts)
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Old May 24, 2010, 20:08   #7
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Atarlost: I agree that in actual fencing, the off-hand weapon is used to parry, and to force one's opponent to account for a potential attack from a different direction. And, yes, it would make WAY more sense to allow an interchange of the shield, not the bow.

But, how are we gonna do this? What is allowed as an off-hand weapon? What aspects of the off-hand weapon *do* carry over? Note that a bow's speed bonus does carry over...so you could use, say, Ringil as primary, and Orome as secondary. Or, you go with, say Firestar for the fire immunity, and (if you have one) a weapon with +2 extra attacks to get the damage punch...IOW, you set up for a low-damage but nice defensive weapon, with a decent high-damage off-hand weapon. And with randarts...life's a SERIOUS mess, because items can have properties they shouldn't. Say you've got boots that give +2 attack speed...does this apply to BOTH weapons?

fizzix: ok, then we can increase the gold drops for those level 1 and 2 monsters to compensate, or perhaps even better, increase the rate at which they drop equipment. Heck, my usual mage start is to buy *nothing* and try to get the basics (robe, cloak, shoes, wicker shield) off level 1. I want to try to get enough cash together to buy a decent =Prot from the magic shop, should one show up. The armor from the dungeon's gonna be as good as what I can afford from the shops...and I won't find a ring that I want more, for some time. So, yes, this would help that style, but it'd also help with mistakes; you get stuff that lets you cover up initial purchase mistakes.
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Old May 24, 2010, 22:25   #8
Derakon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zyphyr View Post
The possibility of making bad choices is a good thing.
Those bad choices should generally have quick feedback that they were bad, or be amenable to discovery through logic without a thorough understanding of how the game works. Digging is bad because it makes you spend a lot of time on one floor, which in turn means more monsters and more awake monsters. This isn't immediately obvious to beginners.
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Old May 24, 2010, 22:52   #9
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If your boots give +2 attacks it would apply only to the main weapon. I mentioned jewelry not thinking of randarts, but any source of extra attacks except the secondary weapon would apply only to the primary weapon. I suppose this would make shields of extra attacks weaker than they are now, but that can be compensated for in the randart generation algorithm.

You would never put a higher damage weapon in the off hand because it would only get one attack unless it itself provided them. So you might put Firestar in your off hand, but you'd be giving up the possibility of wielding a shield to do so. Some shields may merit a boost and some weapons that balance good resistances with poor damage might need some slight nerfing, but any change to slots is going to change the balance of items and need rebalancing. Just adding a digger slot would completely change the game in randart mode unless diggers can't be artifacted.

So if you use Ringil with Orome you get attacks with Ringil as you do now and one attack with Orome. I'm leaning towards both benefiting from rings of acid and gauntlets of slaying and such at the moment, but they wouldn't share brands or +hit/+dam with each other any more than weapons now share +hit/+dam or brands/slays with launchers.

The weight of the off-hand weapon might be added to the weight of the primary weapon for calculating blows to balance dual wield with single wield. I'm not sure about that either. It would hurt shields a lot.

There is also the possibility of disallowing a given weapon type from one hand or the other using flags. Limiting the off hand to shields and small weapons would prevent some things like Firestar from being used purely as an immunity source and also disallowing wielding eg. Thorin with a Shield of Preservation as a mage or priest.
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Old May 24, 2010, 23:09   #10
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If anyone cares about Tolkien sources, Sam wields two swords at once against Shelob, and possibly Azaghal wields axe and knife against Glaurung. Also Hurin "cast aside his shied and wielded an axe two-handed", so the shield would be the right thing to alternate with.
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