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Old February 8, 2017, 00:28   #31
Grotug
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@Derakon: Okay, I do completely agree on your analysis of the early game weapon for 'thancs. It's always seemed odd to me that a beginner weapon doesn't get outclassed sooner.

Regarding more to-dam, what I was aiming at is increasing the difference between weapons with extra attacks and ones without. I think the amount of damage @ makes by the end is pretty much perfect. So if the overall amount of to-dam were to increase from other sources than the weapon, the dice on most late game weapons would have to be lowered to keep things from getting out of hand, which is probably not worth the trouble just to make more blows more meaningful.

I haven't played much Ranger, but it seems to me the increased tactics required to fight from a distance and the problems of having summons block @'s LoS to the target sort of compensate for the overpowerdness of extra shots. It also requires finding multiple good items to get insane damage per round with missiles, whereas in melee you just have to find a good weapon, you don't have to find a good weapon, and good ammo, too. You also never run out of ammo in melee. Rangers are constantly running out of ammo and have to take up precious inventory slots with arrows. But I like Sky's idea of having Rangers not gain extra shots, but something else.

Maybe a more interesting way of addressing the power of ranged attack is to make it affected by strength the way melee is. Why isn't the range and damage of ranged weapons not affected by @'s strength and Dex? Then Rangers' ability could be requiring less DEX and STR to gain 10' in shooting distance and the corresponding damage. Or, to keep things simple, they can shoot 20' farther than the other classes instead of gaining extra shots or might. Level 20 they shoot +10' farther than everyone else. Level 40 +20'. (They could also gain +1 Infravision every 20 Character Levels as well).

Last edited by Grotug; February 8, 2017 at 20:49. Reason: outclassed, not 'classed'
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Old February 8, 2017, 13:40   #32
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Remember that endgame rangers, CL45+, enchant their ammo easily to +12/+13, and then the ammo stacks. It's not hard for me to carry 300 arrows in neat stacks of 40 (+13,+13). Despite the mulching, you hardly ever run out. And their melee isnt bad either.
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Old February 8, 2017, 15:56   #33
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I haven't played much Ranger, but it seems to me the increased tactics required to fight from a distance and the problems of having summons block @'s LoS to the target sort of compensate for the overpowerdness of extra shots.
Unfortunately, it really doesn't. Rangers deal huge unresistable damage at range while operating in bullet time; the next-best ranged option (aside from a combat character with a launcher of extra shots) is the mage, and while they do get to shoot "over" intervening targets with most of their spells, they also deal maybe half the damage a ranger does at best, and they don't get to use bullet time. Rangers still have TO, and it's trivial for them to stand one step away from a wall, so if the enemy does summon, they can hide around a corner, TO enemies as they approach (or just shoot them!), then phase away from melee and continue shooting.

The only limitation on this is the number of arrows they can carry, which Sky notes is functionally determined by your willingness to suffer tedium. That's a bad way to balance the game.

If you replace extra shots with extra might, then you have better game balance and less tedium, as the player will be firing fewer shots to accomplish the same goal. Ammo management is still a problem, but at least we'd be moving in the right direction.
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Old February 8, 2017, 15:58   #34
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Once again I'm going to suggest that we do away with extra shots in its entirety. I've yet to see someone make a convincing counterargument.
The counter argument is of course variety in setups. 99% of ladder winners have a boringly similar setup: speed from boots and a ring, rssists from armor and shield, sustains can be in 3 different slots and stat bonuses are also a bit more varied depending on class but overall, I find that very bleak to look at.

Extra shots are a big deal, so we could for example make a boot ego that gives an extra shot. This would create a meaningful choice and youŽd see characters who pick speed and others whoŽd pick the shot for their boots.

Monopolizing some slots (only rings and boots can have speed, only weapon has blows/shots) helps with keeping the power of the endgame character in a small calculable range - and in the case of stats which can appear all over the place, we have the cap and so dont have to worry - so if that is the only consideration, theres the easy road to follow.

For me part of Angband has always been the item puzzle and I enjoyed it more way back when I, like most new players, thought nether resistance was important.
I could see a game where the "high" resists are actually important - a simple measure like bringing their damage in line with the base elements would make item choices and swaps more relevant. The item puzzle that new players play before they learn about how damage works is the better game.
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Old February 8, 2017, 16:36   #35
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The counter argument is of course variety in setups. 99% of ladder winners have a boringly similar setup: speed from boots and a ring, rssists from armor and shield, sustains can be in 3 different slots and stat bonuses are also a bit more varied depending on class but overall, I find that very bleak to look at.

Extra shots are a big deal, so we could for example make a boot ego that gives an extra shot. This would create a meaningful choice and youŽd see characters who pick speed and others whoŽd pick the shot for their boots.
Okay, that's a reasonable counterargument. My concern with it then is why is extra shots handed out on launchers (basically like finding a Weapon of Extra Blows (+5)) and given for free to rangers? It certainly seems to be extremely unbalanced as currently used. I don't want us to nerf everything into a sea of undifferentiated uninteresting items, but at the same time if there's something that consistently stands out as being vastly more powerful than everything else, that thing needs a serious looking at.

I mean, we have this problem with speed too. The very fact that you suggest forcing extra shots to compete directly with speed in the boot slot indicates that extra shots is of comparable power to speed!

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For me part of Angband has always been the item puzzle and I enjoyed it more way back when I, like most new players, thought nether resistance was important.
I could see a game where the "high" resists are actually important - a simple measure like bringing their damage in line with the base elements would make item choices and swaps more relevant. The item puzzle that new players play before they learn about how damage works is the better game
I wouldn't be opposed to making higher elements more impactful somehow. That's probably ranging a bit far afield for this discussion though, and I don't have any good ideas right now.
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Old February 8, 2017, 19:54   #36
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I wouldn't be opposed to making higher elements more impactful somehow.
Make the resists more effective and raise the damage cap pretty much does that.
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Old February 8, 2017, 20:59   #37
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Make the resists more effective and raise the damage cap pretty much does that.
I was rather disappointed when I learned that rChaos can resist as little as 17% of the 500 damage a Great Wyrm of Chaos can breath. Having them breathe for, say, 900 and having rChaos resist a minimum of 550 or 600 would be much more interesting and meaningful, although hallucinating on a dangerous level is quite bad n itself.
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Old February 8, 2017, 21:10   #38
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... but at the same time if there's something that consistently stands out as being vastly more powerful than everything else, that thing needs a serious looking at.
Agreed, but a simpler version rather than outright removal might be to remove the weird "bullet time" mechanic and allow fractional extra shots. The latter could work exactly like fractional blows.
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Old February 8, 2017, 21:13   #39
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I was rather disappointed when I learned that rChaos can resist as little as 17% of the 500 damage a Great Wyrm of Chaos can breath. Having them breathe for, say, 900 and having rChaos resist a minimum of 550 or 600 would be much more interesting and meaningful, although hallucinating on a dangerous level is quite bad n itself.
Note that if the higher resists become capable of one-shotting high-level characters with max CON, then the resists become vastly less optional (if you want to fight enemies that use them). Maybe some of the high resists should be "non-optional" resists, but I think a good target for most of them is to just make them be a stronger "nice-to-have" than they are currently.

If I had to guess, the current ranking on high-resist priorities is something like poison -> nether -> nexus* -> shards -> chaos -> sound -> darkness disenchantment -> light. That ranking is probably roughly reasonable (though I'm sure it reflects my personal biases), but e.g. maybe nether should be worth closer to what poison is, in the late-game.

We could give resistable high-element attacks (i.e. not plasma/ice/water/etc.) to more enemies, and really amp up the side-effects of getting hit by an unresisted attack, so that e.g. big nether attacks drain several levels' worth of XP, shards really does a number on your potions and gives you "lethal wounds", chaos tags you with practically every status ailment in the game, etc. Basically, the more unpleasant an unresisted attack is, the more valuable the resist becomes, even if the direct HP damage isn't necessarily a big deal.

* This ranking is for nexus when lacking max stats and playing a version of Vanilla that doesn't have the "scrambled" status effect; otherwise it probably ranks around where sound is.

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Agreed, but a simpler version rather than outright removal might be to remove the weird "bullet time" mechanic and allow fractional extra shots. The latter could work exactly like fractional blows.
Fractional blows work like bullet time.
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Old February 8, 2017, 22:53   #40
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For fractional extra shots, what about removing extra shots and replacing "bullet time" with shooting speed? So in the new system, the bow of Amras in its current form would read as:

+1 speed
+10 shooting speed

instead of as:

+1 speed
+1 shots

@ Derakon: Hmm, I like your idea about more unpleasant effects. Also, this discussion makes me think Chaos should be the element with the chance to scramble stats, not Nexus (I actually only very recently realized that Chaos drains experience as well as causes hallucinations).

Btw, my ordering is something like this: rPois, rChaos, rDisench, rNexus, rNether, rShards, rSound, rDark*, rLight. As you can see, I am more concerned with the unpleasant effects of elemental attacks than their damage (but I play mostly high CON @s).
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