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Old December 13, 2017, 17:34   #21
Sky
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is it easier?

randarts do two things.
1. they are, as a set, either better or worse, than the standard set. statistically, they are about the same IF you weigh all the powers.
you have no control over what your set will be like. i've played ragers without a single bow artifact, sets without ESP, without rNether throughout, but also amazing sets.
simply reducing the total strength of the set does not make the game "better".

2. randomness can produce unusual items.
this is very important. if you read A Necromancer In Middle Earth you see that PowerWyrm discards most of the artifacts that he finds. "this one is inferior", "this one doesnt work for my set", "i do not use this".
with randarts, you do not know if an artifact is good or bad. you could get a big damage weapon here, and a slay evil brand there. you could get extra blows, extra shots, excessive speed.
the more you sample, the easier for you to find the gems.

it seems to me that the argument here is "i want a randart set to generate only horrible gear nobody wants to use".
the game is geared towards maxing as much as possible. you don't even need artifacts, when you have 2x ring of speed +15, boots +10, dwarven shield +2, dwarven armor +2, amulet of trickery, a MOD, bow of lothlorien, gauntlets of combat.

my game above had a good combination of items. many had small speed bonuses. but i didn't find any single broken item, and what makes a broken item is simply chance, there's nothing unusual about them, the system simply shuffles values which come from the rest of the game.

a broken item would be artifact boots +17 in speed, a dragon armor with +11 speed, a weapon with 7d9 +30 slay evil, a ring with +2 attacks, a x6 +30 bow, all items i have previously found.
in order to NOT have this happen, you need to :
stop items from having speed
stop weapons from having big dice
stop weapon from having slay evil
stop items from having +blows
stop items from having +shots
stop bows from having high multipliers
cap speed
prevent multiple immunities

and so on. you need to manually prevent every powerful combination. and yet this does not even consider how horrible the randarts would be afterwards.

the standard set is fairly balanced, you don't get a dragon armor with +11 speed, but then again most weapons are useful. you don't have a ring of power
"the ring of uselessness" (+1,+0)
aggravates creatures nearby

you're basically telling me "i want to throw these puzzle pieces randomly, but i want them to form acceptable shapes EXCEPT i do not want them to take a HUGE list of possible combinations".

randarts work this way because they do. because if you take a game with an enormous amount of variables, and randomize them, you cannot expect the result to be a consistent median, it *will* have outliers. And when you play randarts, those are the ones you look for.
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Old December 13, 2017, 17:46   #22
Derakon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky View Post
simply reducing the total strength of the set does not make the game "better".
If the player is typically overpowered and easily able to solve the "equipment puzzle", then that is a problem that can be solved by reducing the total strength of equipment, both of artifacts and of ego-items. Related to this, the fact that the game is currently readily beatable without resort to artifacts substantially limits our ability to maneuver; make artifacts too weak and people will just use ego-items instead. This commonly happens with randart games where a sufficiently powerful weapon doesn't spawn; you're pretty much guaranteed to eventually find a Holy Avenger Mace of Disruption or a Scythe of Slicing of Extra Attacks or something.

The game is more fun for most players when they have to make do without having everything they would like to have. Certainly there are players who like the power fantasy aspect of becoming as ridiculously strong as possible, but they can still become "as strong as possible" in a game with weaker items; it's just that the "as possible" isn't as strong as it used to be.

Quote:
it seems to me that the argument here is "i want a randart set to generate only horrible gear nobody wants to use".
I want the randart generator to generate artifacts that make for interesting and difficult decisions. It is not a hard decision to use a pair of boots that give +2 attacks or an amulet with +5 CON and ESP. Ideally every slot should have multiple competitive options, and the combinations of options should not result in a character that is "maxed out" except in rare circumstances.

Quote:
my game above had a good combination of items. many had small speed bonuses. but i didn't find any single broken item, and what makes a broken item is simply chance, there's nothing unusual about them, the system simply shuffles values which come from the rest of the game.
Even if there is not a single broken item, the combination can be broken because the set has too much synergy. In other words, if each randart is made in a vacuum, then "broken" games are guaranteed to happen, even if each individual item is fine.

Quote:
you're basically telling me "i want to throw these puzzle pieces randomly, but i want them to form acceptable shapes EXCEPT i do not want them to take a HUGE list of possible combinations".
Yep, pretty much! It's a hard problem.
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Old December 13, 2017, 17:51   #23
Estie
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
I don't think that we can make any balance decisions based on Sky's playstyle, because like they admitted, they grind the hell out of the game. They routinely make posts saying "I looked at the randarts file and there was this awesome randart that I didn't find", and I firmly believe that failure was not for lack of trying.

It's absolutely possible in Vanilla to build a character that has fantastic ability/protection coverage and stats and speed, using just the standarts. Most players don't play a single character enough to get all the items required, though. It may well be easier to achieve that kind of loadout with randarts, but what's the average game like?

Which isn't to say that I'd be opposed to making the game harder. I don't think it's necessary to make resists and abilities nonbinary. A simple place to start is just by tweaking the pluses on items. Cut the average +CON by 1 point across all gear and see how much harder that makes the game.
The important part here is "across _all_ gear - not just artifacts. In fact, I would want to reduce stats more for non-artifacts than for artifacts, to lift the artifacts up a bit again from their cowering position just above the egos.

Also, simply -1 to everything creates boring layerd items, the horror of which could be seen when due to mishandling on (my and others) part the randarts became based on the previous set instead of on standarts, creating bizzare distorted sets after a few games. So for example, dont reduce each pval of westernesse by 1, rather remove one of the 3.

I am really wondering if it wouldnt be more promising to instead buff some of the monsters. Reducing values on items has the tendency to also reduce possible endgear permutations, and there are already far too few for my liking.
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Old December 13, 2017, 17:55   #24
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Even if there is not a single broken item, the combination can be broken because the set has too much synergy. In other words, if each randart is made in a vacuum, then "broken" games are guaranteed to happen, even if each individual item is fine.

Yep, pretty much! It's a hard problem.
I suspect that if you attempt a holistic randart generator that reduces the synergy, then it becomes hard in the mathematical sense, i.e., it's essentially bin packing, which is NP-hard.
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Old December 13, 2017, 18:53   #25
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I suspect that if you attempt a holistic randart generator that reduces the synergy, then it becomes hard in the mathematical sense, i.e., it's essentially bin packing, which is NP-hard.
You may be right, but I think a few heuristics should be able to handle synergy for most cases. I don't think it's necessary to have an algorithm that's guaranteed to be perfect; after all, rare outlier games (both too strong and too weak) help to keep things interesting.

Synergy in general comes from artifacts covering for each others' weaknesses, while still providing good coverage in stackable abilities like speed and stats. Therefore a lack of synergy comes when multiple important abilities are only reliably avaliable on a single slot (and not at the same time), or when covering binary abilities comes at the cost of losing out on stackable abilities. So for example (just spitballing here), an anti-synergy heuristic could work like this:

* Have a predefined set of Important Binary Abilities (IBAs). This would be things like rBase, SI, FA, ESP, pConf, etc. Abilities that all players want to have.
* Break the IBAs down into sets of at least 2 abilities. Assign each set a favored slot.
* For randarts in the favored slot, assign higher power if they have multiple powers from the IBA set at the same time.
* For randarts not in the favored slot, assign higher power for any power in the IBA set.

For example, if rFire and rCold are in an IBA set, and the game decides to assign that set to the ring slot, then we might see randarts like:

* The Ring of Foo (rFire) power 50
* The Ring of Bar (rCold) power 50
* The Ring of Baz (rFire, rCold) power 150
* The Boots of Quux (rFire) power 100

This should, if I thought it through correctly, create randart sets where you either get versatility ("off-slot" abilities) or you get useful stats, but both would be rare.
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Old December 16, 2017, 17:57   #26
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My last game I got all 4 immunities while maintaining all stats at 200 (took a lot of working the gear and saving tons of gear to finally figure out a good combo, tho, and that was only with about 17 speed).

The immunities came from objects that didn't cause much in the way of compromise to wear them: a ring of power with cold and fire immunity, ESP, rNether, rNexus and some other resists I can't remember along with lots of stat boosts, such as +2 CON, +5 INT, +4 DEX I believe and no STR.

Another ring of power had +8 Speed, immunity to acid, +4 INT, +4 WIS, +4 DEX, +2 Stealth, +2 STR, +5 Search, +1 Light. the 4 Base resists and rDark, rSound, rNether, rShards. FrAct, Regen, SlowDig, sustain INT.

Lightning Immunity came from an amulet of slaying (+8, +8).

On DL98 I picked up a ring of speed <+14> which allowed me to move around some other gear for the Morgoth fight, since I had gloves of cold immunity (+8, +4), and Sauron dropped me a decent Scythe of Slicing of Fire Immunity. I never found a good melee weapon for M (best I could do was about 390 with something of extra attacks with no abilities), so decided to go ranged attack for him.

Going into Sauron fight I was doing around 700 dam in melee with that cloak of acid brand while having all 4 immunities. But I fought sauron and Morgoth without pblind, pconf or pStun or rLite, rChaos or rNexus, which were not a factor at all. Nobody seems interested in blinding or confusing me at DL99 and DL100. I was so powerful I fought the Queen of Air without curing the confusing effects. It still didn't take very long even though I was swinging at the air most of the time.

Leading up to the fights, I was able to have all resistances once I reached the DL70s or DL80s, and had a great weapon of slay Unholy Trinity (Powerfully).

Luckily, my only decent source of rPois ever came in good melee weapons, except for the Sauron fight as the 8d6 weapon didn't have rPois (the only dice augmented weapon I found the entire game). I just used the book to temp rPois.

For the final fight I found a bunch of good bolts for my heavy xbow of power (15, +28) as well as bunch of slay evil arrows, so I brought a light long bow of extra might along as well. Now that I am better understanding how to play as an archer I'm beginning to see why it is overpowered. The first rune broke immediately (first round of Morgoth attack) but the others actually let me get in some damage on him, even only at 400-700 a round (I was wearing armor of extra shots <+1> at the expense of rChaos).

I brought 4 staves of power to the fight but never used them.

One cool trick I discovered during the final fight when I found myself ?phased in an empty room (yikes!) is if you create doors (what a great spell!) near the bottom of an empty room and open the top door, if M comes at you from the top of the room at an angle, he will be shootable due to favorable hockey stick line of sight, but he will not be able to see you, thanks to all the doors surrounding you. I think I may play hobbit ranger next game and see how much I can exploit this trick.

Is Kelek's the deepest red book? Once again I found tons of Tensers (I thought Tensers was the deepest) but only two Kelek's this game and 0 kelek's last game.

That was one of the easiest, safest, fewest risks of any final fight I think I've had with M. I used about 4 ?banishments which were super helpful since he kept summing Great Balance Wyrms and two Reavers. I realized I held onto rods of TO for way too long leading up to the fight, and so I dropped them sometime in the DL90s and relied on books for TOing which have the same fail rate as the rods. I had *** INT for nearly the entire second half of the game, despite that maxing stats took longer than normal. I only needed one !restore mana in the final fight, though I had 24 of them, hah. Maybe I've just been on a lucky randarts streak, but the last, like, 5 randart games I've found tons of super-statted gear.

I guess my suggestion for making the final fight harder, rather than, say, nerfing Ranger, or artifacts, would be to simply have runes of warding be totally ineffectual against M; that is to say, he always breaks the rune on his first around of attack. Now @ has to be more creative in defeating M from a distance due to rapid overcrowding with summons. It's pretty cheesy firing at him on a rune of protection anyway.

Next game I'll do hobbit ranger and forgo ?;s.

Last edited by Grotug; December 16, 2017 at 18:04.
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Old December 16, 2017, 18:44   #27
Ingwe Ingweron
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One cool trick I discovered during the final fight when I found myself ?phased in an empty room (yikes!) is if you create doors (what a great spell!) near the bottom of an empty room and open the top door, if M comes at you from the top of the room at an angle, he will be shootable due to favorable hockey stick line of sight, but he will not be able to see you, thanks to all the doors surrounding you. I think I may play hobbit ranger next game and see how much I can exploit this trick.

.... It's pretty cheesy firing at him on a rune of protection anyway.

Next game I'll do hobbit ranger and forgo ?;s.
Great idea with the doors. I'm going to have to try that!

Ummm, how is that less "cheesy" than firing on him from a Rune? On the rune, @ is still exposed. The door and hockey stick isn't exposed at all. I like them both, and will definitely be trying your clever idea next time out.
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Old December 16, 2017, 23:56   #28
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If making randarts fun is constrained by the power of egos, maybe randarts setting should also shuffle the effects of ego items? :thinking emoji:
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Old December 17, 2017, 01:47   #29
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Awww, poop. Well, *that* was different. I'm in a super, amazing, awesome, best ever vault (9-9) and I'm being careful and smart and stuff. Already got some super nice gear, like an X5 light xbow of cold immunity (+20) and picked up rNexus armor and got way back to TO the dracolisk after quaffing one of my two !speeds (I only had 247HP). Safely TO'd. Then I'm pressing '5' to rest up so I can stone to mud the next cubby when suddenly "You are severely crushed by the ceiling! You die." Talk about not knowing what hit me! It seems Atlas summoned me to him. Dang, just didn't see that coming.

Of course, once again, getting awesome gear not suited for a Ranger. Woulda been better off as a Rogue. Super Xbow of superness.

The messages didn't even say anything about being summoned to Atlas. I switched back to my scythe of lightning to take care of the little guy behind the next cubby (I found two telepathy ego weapons lying around on DL14 and DL16; the vault I was working through was on DL39) when I read "Atlas, the Titan hits you! The Cave ceiling collapses! You are severely crushed! You die."

I feel like Atlas cheated.

EDIT: I'm wrong. While I was resting, Atlas left his cubby and trampled over everyone and through all the cubby walls and came to me and crushed me. How I missed with ESP I'm not entirely sure.

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Old December 17, 2017, 05:40   #30
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EDIT: I'm wrong. While I was resting, Atlas left his cubby and trampled over everyone and through all the cubby walls and came to me and crushed me. How I missed with ESP I'm not entirely sure.
I think there's a setting like 'disturb when monster seen only by ESP moves' that you need to turn on to be interrupted by something like that? Going off of memory.
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