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Old May 3, 2011, 20:44   #11
PowerDiver
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Originally Posted by Spacebux View Post
Even as Magnate changes the floor designs such that the chances of using "phase door" to flee to the relative safety of an adjacent hallway dwindle greatly
Please don't blame Magnate for changes other people are making. That's my job.

My first impression is that I don't like the new levels, but they haven't cost me a char yet. After telling people they need to play several games before they can evaluate whether they like no_selling, I figure I should give the new levels the same chance. I hope I can learn to like them.
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Old May 3, 2011, 20:53   #12
Derakon
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I found Acid Bolt to be a reliable attack for most monsters until I found Raal's. The ones I couldn't fight with acidbolt or firebolt (which, yes, includes Mim, his sons, the upper-tier orc uniques, and several others) I avoided. That still left plenty of profitably blastable targets.

I won't deny that Orb of Draining is a nice spell. However, let's flip that around for you: a priest casting Orb can deal 78 damage to one target (and significantly less to adjacent targets) for 7 mana, assuming the target doesn't resist the attack (by not being evil). In contrast, the mage casting Acidbolt can deal 48 damage to one target for 4 mana, assuming the target doesn't resist the attack. That's a better mana-to-damage ratio for the mage for single targets -- and moreover acidbolt beams (clvl)% of the time (for mages, half rate for hybrids) and does full damage to each target hit by the beam, thus being significantly more effective against lines of orcs, trolls, hounds, etc.

Now of course there are more mid- and late-game enemies that resist elemental attacks than that resist holy attacks, but I honestly haven't found that to be a significant factor; by the time most enemies are resisting everything in the town books, you should have found Raal's. In the meantime you avoid what you can't fight effectively. I don't fight angels when playing as a priest; not until I get a good melee weapon anyway.
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Old May 3, 2011, 21:05   #13
Spacebux
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As it happens, I'm playing a mage right now. ...
* Monster resistances: most monsters have at least one resistance hole. You just have to find it. Don't fight the few monsters that resist everything.
DL 32: Young multi-hued dragon.

A fairly prevalent mob one sees in mid-levels.

Averages about 280 HPs. Resists all attacks a L20 mage might have at that depth.
A L20 Priest w/ Blessed weapon:
4 rounds of Orb of Draining. Done.

A L20 Priest w/out Blessed weapon:
4-5 rounds of Orb of Draining. Done. (avg. dam of 68-per x 4 = 272).

A L20 Mage w/base 4 town books:
?? Run the other way ??
Priest wins out.


DL 36: Colossus.

Another fairly prevalent mob one sees in mid-levels.

Averages about 2640 HPs. Resists all attacks but Acid.
A L20 Priest w/ Blessed weapon:
67 rounds of Orb of Draining. 469 mana.. gonna need a breather.

A L20 Priest w/out Blessed weapon:
77 rounds of Orb of Draining. 539 mana, really need a breather.

A L20 Mage w/Acid Bolt:
55 Bolts. 220 mana. (assuming the character knew in advance only to try/use acid. If s/he attempts a couple of rounds with fire bolt, cold ball, etc., a few more rounds & mana are spent.)
In this case, the mage has an advantage, but really only in mana. As Colossus moves at a slow speed, this could be negated if the mage player is also moving at a slower speed. But, for arguments sake, we'll assume the player is tactically strong enough to move at normal rate.


DL 34: Mature Blue dragon.

Yet, another fairly prevalent mob one sees in mid-levels. One with many resist holes.

Averages about 352 HPs. Resists only lightning bolt.
A L20 Priest w/ Blessed weapon:
5 rounds of Orb of Draining. 35 mana. Done

A L20 Priest w/out Blessed weapon:
6 rounds of Orb of Draining. 42 mana. Done.

A L20 Mage w/Acid Bolt:
8 Bolts. 32 mana. Done.
Priest wins again.

Even with the resist hole(s), the poor mage has to endure 2-3 extra rounds of possible mob damage from breath, spell, blindness, or just plain pummeling.

ONLY for mobs that are not evil and have multiple resist holes do mages fare slightly better in the ATTACK category. As one dives deeper, the % of EVIL creatures increases. By in large, I contend either Magic missile is woefully under-powered, or a mid-level Mana-bolt needs to replace Mass Sleep, or Orb of Draining is too powerful, _or_, the coders need to start inserting SUSCEPTIBLE_ACID, SUSCEPTIBLE_COLD, etc., flags to multiply damage from elemental attacks.


-SBux-



***Any idea why the Ice Elemental resists Acid or Electricity?***
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Old May 3, 2011, 21:11   #14
Spacebux
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Originally Posted by PowerDiver View Post
Please don't blame Magnate for changes other people are making. That's my job.

My first impression is that I don't like the new levels, but they haven't cost me a char yet. After telling people they need to play several games before they can evaluate whether they like no_selling, I figure I should give the new levels the same chance. I hope I can learn to like them.


Meant that as a joke... but seriously, on the new curved hallway levels, phase door is practically useless. Azog was a REAL CHORE!! He's hasted, he's going to run you down... there is no place for a mage to hide. Particularly for those levels which are 1/3rd to 1/6th the normal level size of 3.2.0...!!

That will snag sooo many mid-level mages in the coming revisions....
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Old May 3, 2011, 21:27   #15
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Originally Posted by PowerDiver View Post
Please don't blame Magnate for changes other people are making.
Note: there is NO ATTACK, no blame, not even an "accusation" of wrong-doing. I am simply trying to point out the situation.

My apologies if I chose the wrong words in trying to lay it out.

I'm sorry if I did not know it wasn't Magnate who made the changes to the floor-plans, but it did seem like that to me in an earlier post from Magnate himself.

I grovel in your general direction.
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Old May 3, 2011, 21:27   #16
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I think you're expecting to be able to kill too many enemies...and also that the priest and mage should have roughly equal killing ability at any given point in the game. Mages are challenge classes; in fact I'd say they're probably the hardest class in the game. They have terrible early game capabilities and only middling killing ability at any point. In exchange they get loads of utility spells. They are all about cherrypicking your fights and avoiding or ignoring everything you can't deal with, which is a lot! Early on you do this through detection and stealth, then later through Teleport Away, then in the late game through Banishment and Destruction.

Meanwhile, priests are, to my mind, the second-easiest class to win with (after the paladin, which Timo only claims is hard because it is so easy that he gets bored...yeah). That's not so much due to Orb of Draining, though it certainly doesn't hurt. 0% fail 300HP heals starting in the early midgame counts for a lot too.

I should probably have stated my expectations on the various class challenge levels earlier, and I apologize for that. You're trying to say "The mage should be able to deal with all these monsters with resistances to his only attacks" and I'm over here saying "the mage having crappy resisted offense at this stage is half the fun!"

For what it's worth, my first inclination on all cavern levels is to just get the hell off them as quickly as possible. It's very difficult to control the terrain on these levels as they're almost completely bereft of chokepoints. Find the closest stairs and leave, or just recall out if you have to. They're not quite as dangerous as ZAngband's "arena" levels (which were completely open) but they come about as close as is possible without looking completely unfair...

(Which isn't to say that they should be removed just yet; it can be an interesting challenge to deal with getting off them sometimes)
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Old May 3, 2011, 21:45   #17
Spacebux
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
I think you're expecting to be able to kill too many enemies...and also that the priest and mage should have roughly equal killing ability at any given point in the game. Mages are challenge classes; in fact I'd say they're probably the hardest class in the game. They have terrible early game capabilities and only middling killing ability at any point.
I can list a plethora of examples where Priest spells >> Mage spells in the mid-levels of the game.

I'm not going to argue about whether a mage ought to be easier or harder than a priest.

My point, though, is one would think a mage would have more fire-power, even at level 20, than a priest. But, in reality, the way the game is structured today, a L20 mage just does not have the guns to go toe-to-toe with a priest. As far as I have played D&D, Dikumuds, ad nauseum, I have never seen situation where the Mage class had inferior attack spells compared to the Priest class.

Yes, the Mage class is a challenge. No question or argument there. That - again - is not my point.

Please, for the 4th time: the elemental attack spells of mages are either under-powered for their lack of ability to do decent damage on non-resistant mobs, or the priests are over-powered with Orb of D. As you pointed out in an earlier post, !s of Restore Mana are quite prevalent in the current edition---making the 7mana per Orb vs. 4mana per Bolt argument even weaker, in my opinion. Orbs, are also guaranteed to hit other, nearby mobs. Acid Bolts sometimes become beams, and only hit other mobs IFF they are in a line. "Line up, Boys!" Which does not happen often, as Group Mob mentality has reformed to be smarter in the AI category. ... Especially with a radius 3-ball Orb at L30.


Quote:
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I should probably have stated my expectations on the various class challenge levels earlier, and I apologize for that. You're trying to say "The mage should be able to deal with all these monsters with resistances to his only attacks" and I'm over here saying "the mage having crappy resisted offense at this stage is half the fun!"
Well, that is part of it, yes. I also know that if the mage had a mid-level mana bolt/ball/cone type spell, several others would cry foul that the mage would be too easy.

That would not be as much an issue IF we moved to a spell-scroll system.

Last edited by Spacebux; May 3, 2011 at 22:01.
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Old May 3, 2011, 21:56   #18
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IIRC Frazband did something like the "add-spells-to-book" thing.
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Old May 3, 2011, 22:06   #19
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I used to play high elf mages, and that isn't a challenge race with high int, decent hp and see invisible. But with my recent hobbit mages, plus the new open levels I totally see your point. Surviving to stairs at the other end of the level can be a beast. But for the end game, with cheap haste, double resists, runes, destruction, tele other, both banishes and rift they finish up well.

Spacebux, multi hued dragons are a very annoying for pre Raal's mages. But then again, the first and last rule of playing a mage: Mages shall run away. Its not like you lost a lot by avoiding low level MHDs, and later ones are a selected fight if you have Raal's or a wand of drain life or something. As Derakon noted, Priests have trouble with Angels and non evil monsters that group.

After the improvements to damage per mana for mages in the last few revisions, I dont see any issues with current spell choices.

Edited to add: Mages also have pretty decent ball spells by level 30. And the flexibility to choose a target and pick off one or a few at a time is a plus for a mage as well. But by level 30, my priests are only using orb to clean up low level groups that are nothing more than a nuisance to either character, and the healing / buffs are far more important. Priests with spam healing are just plain easy at that point, by far the easiest wins.
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Old May 3, 2011, 22:14   #20
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I would also be happy with having each spell book contain one spell that you learn and permanently know when you read the spell book. I doubt that would be implemented though because it seems like it would be a significant change to game balancing.
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As is, gained/learned spells & prayers are permanent. But, one must maintain a copy in-hand. Ideally, the more one casts a spell / prayer, the more efficient one ought to be at it, but that is bit of coding I don't think I our team of coders has opportunity to tackle at the moment.
What I was saying is the following: you find a spell book with one spell, you read it, the book disappears, and you now know the spell permanently with no spell book required. There could be some % change that you fail to learn the spell, but either way you don't have to carry the spell book.

It's like that in many more modern RPGs (e.g. Final Fantasy I, Geneforge, Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines), though I admit that the games I'm thinking of aren't roguelikes.

I'm not sure whether that was clear from my first post or not, but I doubt anyone's going to make this change anyways.

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Acid is the most useful elemental attack - as you know - more mobs than any other have this resist hole. But it does not do double-damage to non-resistant mobs. The game does not give mage spells any *slay* ability, e.g. Mages dish it out equally to all. A Priest doesn't have to worry about whether his Orb will be resisted or not... just whether it will do double damage or not! (and whether he/she holds a blessed weapon or not...)
While warriors do get swords of slay dragon (or whatever), mages do get area of effect attacks. I'm pretty sure that warriors don't get any "sword of hitting everyone in the room at once".

Though it is a moot point if you happen to be casting fireball at something that's immune to fire.
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