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Old May 5, 2019, 21:22   #1
Quirk
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Sil-Q 1.4.2 release

It's been a while in coming, but it's finally arrived.

A number of changes have been made to better align with feedback made by Scatha, and many skills and items have undergone an overhaul. The Song tree in particular has been reimagined, but there are a number of changes to Archery and Melee also.

Get it here:
https://github.com/sil-quirk/sil-q/releases/tag/v1.4.2

Thanks to Hugo, wobbly, Marty and others for testing this while it was in development, to Gwarl for his tireless work on angband.live, and zenkalia for some last minute typo fixes.
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Old May 8, 2019, 01:59   #2
Destragon
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Nice work, the song changes seem fun and smite sounds like it could be interesting.
I haven't tried it in 1.4.2 yet, but I just finished my first proper archery run in 1.4.1 (I was essentially insta killed by a dragon on 800ft because I had no will to resist his entrancement) and I could see why you would want to nerf it. I didn't really have any problem mowing down enemies until that one. In my run, I think the Deadly Hail ability was the strongest part of the kit. Rout would help make killing fleeing enemies a cakewalk and then I'd use that kill to deal massive damage to the next enemy and so on. I remember getting 8d8 damage rolls, but that would probably be reduced to 8d7 now with the longbow nerf. Although, now we can also have the new Ambush skill to get another damage die against unwary enemies.
If you really want to nerf archery, maybe you could consider making Deadly Hail a song instead? Or split some part of the kit into the perception tree, like Crippling Shot (keeping the prereqs, maybe also giving it an alternate prereq to make it possibly apply to melee), but I'm not sure right now if that wouldn't actually make it cheaper to get instead of more expensive.

Does the Versatility ability make sense in the archery tree? Almost all the abilities in the archery tree seem very attractive right now, meaning that I'd get at least 5 of them and getting Versatility at that point would cost 3k xp. If I just took that amount of xp and put it into melee instead, I could get it up to 7. I guess maybe it could be useful for very late game archers, but I think it would probably make more sense to have it in a different skill tree, maybe in melee? (Of course doing this wouldn't exactly make archers weaker though.)

There is still some weirdness in the tutorial. It tells you that it gave you access to the Song of Slaying and Song of Trees even though the actual songs you get currently are Song of Challenge and Song of Silence.
And it also kinda tells you to use the song of slaying to kill the wolves, despite that song not existing anymore.

The tutorial telling you to use Song of Slaying against the wolves made me realise that there wasn't really any song to help with damage dealing after its removal. We do have Song of Whetting now, but that looks more like a late game thing and only for low-weight, critical melee characters. Should there be another song that helps melee characters take out swarms of enemies like the wolves in the tutorial (some sort of AoE effect like whirlwind attack?) or should the tutorial just give Song of Staying to the player instead?
By the way, why is it possible to get Song of Whetting with just 4 points of song? Are there even any weapons that weigh 0.5lb?

Edit:
Just noticed that Elves are still displayed as having +1 to archery in the character screen as if they had archery affinity instead of bow proficiency, but I guess that's just a minor graphical issue that doesn't really matter because bows are the only ranged weapons and the bonus doesn't seem to apply double like I expected at first.

I thought the drop rate of arrows was reduced, but I just found over 350 arrows on the first two floors of the dungeon. Does the early dungeon just have a high arrow drop rate?

Last edited by Destragon; May 8, 2019 at 03:03.
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Old May 8, 2019, 13:28   #3
Quirk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Destragon View Post
In my run, I think the Deadly Hail ability was the strongest part of the kit. Rout would help make killing fleeing enemies a cakewalk and then I'd use that kill to deal massive damage to the next enemy and so on. I remember getting 8d8 damage rolls, but that would probably be reduced to 8d7 now with the longbow nerf. Although, now we can also have the new Ambush skill to get another damage die against unwary enemies.
Good, I'm glad to hear that. Deadly Hail does a lot of damage but it does require some positioning and setup and is harder to make work when ambushed by dangerous enemies. Flaming Arrows, the old Sil skill, did an extra damage die on every shot. It was flavourful but a tiny bit broken.

With the halved Evasion though it is hard to give Archery almost any meaningful tools at all, it is a bit overpowered by default. Hopefully reduced damage sides should counter it a little.

Quote:
Does the Versatility ability make sense in the archery tree?
Good question. I tend to avoid it but I see some very experienced players who take it, so I assume it's still good enough. Will keep an eye on archers in 1.4.2 though.

Quote:
There is still some weirdness in the tutorial. It tells you that it gave you access to the Song of Slaying and Song of Trees even though the actual songs you get currently are Song of Challenge and Song of Silence.
And it also kinda tells you to use the song of slaying to kill the wolves, despite that song not existing anymore.
That is a fantastic catch and one I had completely missed. Thanks for spotting that.

I'll update to make it a bit saner.

Quote:
The tutorial telling you to use Song of Slaying against the wolves made me realise that there wasn't really any song to help with damage dealing after its removal. We do have Song of Whetting now, but that looks more like a late game thing and only for low-weight, critical melee characters. Should there be another song that helps melee characters take out swarms of enemies like the wolves in the tutorial (some sort of AoE effect like whirlwind attack?) or should the tutorial just give Song of Staying to the player instead?
I'd probably go with Staunching over Staying for early game but I might teach different songs entirely.

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By the way, why is it possible to get Song of Whetting with just 4 points of song? Are there even any weapons that weigh 0.5lb?
Daggers.

Quote:
Edit:
Just noticed that Elves are still displayed as having +1 to archery in the character screen as if they had archery affinity instead of bow proficiency
That's how bow proficiency works. If you had blade proficiency and wielded a sword you would see +1 to Melee.

Quote:
I thought the drop rate of arrows was reduced, but I just found over 350 arrows on the first two floors of the dungeon. Does the early dungeon just have a high arrow drop rate?
Slightly lucky, but I do try to load the player up with more arrows early on as playing an archer without ammo is miserable. If you're profligate and run out later that's more on you.
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Old May 8, 2019, 15:49   #4
wobbly
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I'd say versatility lost some kick when song of slaying disappeared. You used to be able to still slam the throne room that way on an archer. Haven't tried it recently but I'd say it still has some juice if you ever need to herb of rage yourself out of a situation. It has always been a weak ability but useful for various niche builds.
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Old May 8, 2019, 19:06   #5
Destragon
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Originally Posted by Quirk View Post
That's how bow proficiency works. If you had blade proficiency and wielded a sword you would see +1 to Melee.
The weird thing though is that the +1 is displayed even when you're not carrying a bow. Even during the character creation screen.

Wait, does that mean that when a dwarf carries an axe as main weapon (or an elf a sword in the old versions), that they are suddenly slightly more accurate at throwing stuff because they got a general +1 to their melee skill for holding an axe (or sword)?

This also makes me think that maybe affinities/masteries should be highlighted in the character screen? Maybe they should be in yellow or something.

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Originally Posted by wobbly View Post
I'd say versatility lost some kick when song of slaying disappeared. You used to be able to still slam the throne room that way on an archer. Haven't tried it recently but I'd say it still has some juice if you ever need to herb of rage yourself out of a situation. It has always been a weak ability but useful for various niche builds.
I think the question is just if you really get anything out of it compared to just dumping the xp straight into the melee skill. I haven't yet won a game as an archer (or as any other kind of character), but in my 800ft run Versatility would have been a net loss in xp, unless I'm missing something here. I guess you should just not take that many archery abilities if you want to go for Versatility? They are all so good looking though.
Maybe it should work on your total archery value instead of just the archery skill points? (This isn't how it already works, right?)
Maybe it should be a prerequisite for a new ability that gives you a bonus for alternating between melee and ranged attacks or something like that? Something to encourage this half-melee, half-ranged playstyle. Maybe not a good idea because that build would be locked out of all melee abilities (because otherwise Versatility would have been a waste).

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Originally Posted by Quirk View Post
Slightly lucky, but I do try to load the player up with more arrows early on as playing an archer without ammo is miserable. If you're profligate and run out later that's more on you.
Have you considered making it so that a player who starts out with X amount of archery skill, or more archery skill than melee skill, automatically starts off with a crappy bow (slightly worse than a short bow I suppose) and a handfull arrows? Their curved sword should probably be replaced with a dagger in that case then though.
This might reduce the need to spam arrow drops on the first floors and gets rid of that awkward beginning where an archer has to fight with a terrible melee attack until they can find a short bow lying around.
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Old May 8, 2019, 23:56   #6
Quirk
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Originally Posted by Destragon View Post
The weird thing though is that the +1 is displayed even when you're not carrying a bow. Even during the character creation screen.
That looks like a bug, and on inspection, yes, while axes and swords check you're carrying them to give you the bonus, it appears the bow bonus appears on archery whether you have a bow equipped or not. Of course as you can only equip bows in the bow slot it's a bit of a cosmetic bug. I'll try to get it fixed for the next release.

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Originally Posted by Destragon View Post
Wait, does that mean that when a dwarf carries an axe as main weapon (or an elf a sword in the old versions), that they are suddenly slightly more accurate at throwing stuff because they got a general +1 to their melee skill for holding an axe (or sword)?
Hmm, you made me curious enough to check. The short answer is yes. The more intriguing thing is that it appears that throwing a weapon you are holding has always counted its bonus (with proficiency) twice. In Sil 1.3 with an elf with sword proficiency, when you throw daggers you gain +2 to accuracy - double the +1 blade bonus. There is also of course a -5 for throwing a non-throwing weapons.

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This also makes me think that maybe affinities/masteries should be highlighted in the character screen? Maybe they should be in yellow or something.
Maybe. They're quite low-key effect-wise compared to many other things and I think it would take quite a bit of screen real estate to make it apparent what was going on.

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Originally Posted by Destragon View Post
I think the question is just if you really get anything out of it compared to just dumping the xp straight into the melee skill. I haven't yet won a game as an archer (or as any other kind of character), but in my 800ft run Versatility would have been a net loss in xp, unless I'm missing something here. I guess you should just not take that many archery abilities if you want to go for Versatility? They are all so good looking though.
Well, if you have 20 points in Archery and nothing in Melee, it would cost you 5500 XP to raise your Melee by 10 by buying points, and maybe 3K from buying Versatility. If you're spending all your XP on Archery abilities instead of Archery skill and have quite low Archery skill the calculation may be different.

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Originally Posted by Destragon View Post
Something to encourage this half-melee, half-ranged playstyle. Maybe not a good idea because that build would be locked out of all melee abilities (because otherwise Versatility would have been a waste).
I don't particularly want to encourage that playstyle. Archery is useful for most melee characters as is. Having Versatility and Point Blank both seems a bit much, but it's been like that since forever, some people use one, some use the other, some use both. On top of that, adding useful but non-broken archery skills is hard, so...

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Originally Posted by Destragon View Post
Have you considered making it so that a player who starts out with X amount of archery skill, or more archery skill than melee skill, automatically starts off with a crappy bow (slightly worse than a short bow I suppose) and a handfull arrows? Their curved sword should probably be replaced with a dagger in that case then though.
I've actually considered this for elves in general and Sindar Falathrim in particular. I would prefer starting gear that suggested a traveller arriving in Angband with intent. Elves would maybe get a short sword, Falathrim a dagger and more arrows. This is weaker for melee characters than starting with a curved sword though, and I'm a bit nervous about making the early game overly difficult again having toned things down from the relative brutality of 1.3.
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Old May 9, 2019, 01:10   #7
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Is Sil-Q on angband.live already upated to 1.4.2 official i.e. the one with the last typo fixes and etc? I coudn't tell because the games list says "1.4.2 Alpha". Reason for asking is that I play to check for various bugs (once I know it is the real 1.4.2 official).
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Old May 9, 2019, 06:27   #8
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Is Sil-Q on angband.live already upated to 1.4.2 official i.e. the one with the last typo fixes and etc? I coudn't tell because the games list says "1.4.2 Alpha". Reason for asking is that I play to check for various bugs (once I know it is the real 1.4.2 official).
It is. I should probably rename it.
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Old May 9, 2019, 21:00   #9
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Nice! Haven't played around yet, but dabbled a bit reading through the abilities. How do Accurate weapons work mechanically? Smite looks neat, but might make 2-handers outperform light weapons for sneak attacks?

Also noticed Mithril Greatwords being 3d6 by default with no corresponding increase in smithing cost? A 5500 xp investment (8 skillpoints, Weaponsmith, Artifice + Masterpiece by way of artifact hammer) now buys any character a (-2,3d6)[+1] sword at 3-5lb, which might honestly be worth it even if one chanced upon one of the sharp artefacts.

Skimmed the prerequisite changes in song, but the existence of Quick Learner makes them kind of moot anyhow. It's already a bargain for melee characters what with it allowing one to skip some less useful prerequisites (Hardiness for Poison/Critical Resistance, Assassination for Opportunist, the aforementioned leapfrogging of the Smiithing tree etc).

Last edited by Infinitum; May 9, 2019 at 21:05.
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Old May 9, 2019, 21:27   #10
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Nice! Haven't played around yet, but dabbled a bit reading through the abilities. How do Accurate weapons work mechanically?
You get to reroll your Melee roll when you miss an attack.

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Smite looks neat, but might make 2-handers outperform light weapons for sneak attacks?
Subtlety stabbers tend to be fragile in stand up fights. Your enemies moving twice when you strike I think makes staying alive if your target survives rather more perilous.

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Also noticed Mithril Greatwords being 3d6 by default with no corresponding increase in smithing cost?
Yup. They needed to offer something that offset the lack of versatility compared to bastard swords and lack of Strength scaling compared to normal greatswords. They already cost mithril to smith, which is in limited supply.

Quote:
A 5500 xp investment (8 skillpoints, Weaponsmith, Artifice + Masterpiece by way of artifact hammer) now buys any character a (-2,3d6)[+1] sword at 3-5lb, which might honestly be worth it even if one chanced upon one of the sharp artefacts.
I am a little confused by this if we're still talking mithril greatswords. A much smaller investment will get you a 3d4 bastard sword with the same 3d6 stats and the ability to be used with a shield, and I don't think I understand the need for so much smithing. You would be sad to use it as an endgame weapon.

You're not thinking that a mithril greatsword gains 2 more sides for being used 2 handed are you? 2 handed weapons have the advertised number of damage sides baked in and have as long as I've played Sil.

Edit: if you mean you can smith a 3d8 mithril greatsword for 17 smithing - yes, sure. 17 smithing could also alternatively get you a fire-branded 3d6 one. You could have a 3d6 battle-axe (so actually 3d8) for 16 smithing and save on mithril. 17 Smithing plus mithril will get you a decent weapon.

Last edited by Quirk; May 9, 2019 at 21:43.
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