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Old June 13, 2011, 08:38   #1
Philip
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S thoughts

I have been playing S a bit, and I noticed a slight problem. The oath system pretty much prevents interesting combinations. You can't play a paladinnish character, nor can you play something like an O ranger(i was thinking of the priest spells for him though). I thought of a gnome crossbow-mage/necromancer guy, but I'm not sure if it's playable without any oath.
IMO, an oath should be positive motivation in the form of a bonus, and not that exclusive in what you can learn. The only drawback of an oath should be not being able to get a different one.
Please tell me what you think of this idea, about it's viability and what else you like/don't like about S.
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Old June 13, 2011, 11:26   #2
NotMorgoth
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I'll give my answer to this as S is the main variant I play. (Long post alert!)

The S system of oaths does not let you replicate exactly all of the V classes; As you point out, there is no real equivalent of the ranger - if you want the maximum archery ability you have to take the Oath of Iron, which prevents spellcasting, but if you want to cast spells, you won't be the best archer.

To me, this is a good thing - rangers are widely considered to be the most powerful/overpowerered V class, having awesome archery AND being able to cast spells is probably too much, and it makes sense to me that in S if you want to be the best at one type of skill you have to make sacrifices elsewhere.

But a paladin-type character is absolutely playable, just by using priest spells but not taking the oath. It won't be identical to a V paladin because of differences in the way the skills work (you can always cast all spells in your chosen realm, for example, rather than some being absent for some classes.)

A character who uses magic but does not take the oath is very playable, and for some builds may be the optimal choice, if you want to rely on melee for attacking, and use spells for backup, escapes and buffs. These types of builds do work better for some realms than others, as some have better synergy with physical combat. Of course if you do this, your spells will be less powerful; you can't get the maximum benefit from high level offensive spells AND be the best possible fighter.

Your gnome necromancer/crossbowman is one of the combos that maybe doesn't work so well - crossbows provide ranged offence, while necromancy provides mostly ranged offence, so you end up with two ways of doing essentially the same thing and there is not much synergy. I guess this extends to the other magical realms too - magic largely replaces archery so there is little incentive to use both. (though blessings of both types help with accuracy.)

I think this is partly because archery is better balanced in S than V; in V, you can do vastly more damage with archery than with offensive magic, but they are more equal in S (though bows are maybe a bit underpowered.)

Don't forget, there is no restriction on WHEN you take an oath, so don't feel you have to take it as soon as it becomes available. You could for example use a crossbow, melee weapon or martial art to get through the early game when you don't have much mana, and only take the oath in the late game when you have nearly maxed stats and access to all the high level books.

I'd say the main difficulty with playing these kinds of interesting combinations is not the oaths but the need for 'practice' in spellcasting. Even if you only intend to use magic for utility spells, buffs, escapes, etc, you still need to get practice in spellcasting, which means you have to use spells to kill things, which isn't always easy for non-oath characters as the damage isn't that good and you might want to save your mana for other things.

This also applies to characters who only want to use devices for utility effects; the need for practice means you also have to kill quite a lot of monsters with them to avoid the skill cost getting very high.
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Old June 13, 2011, 19:58   #3
Philip
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True, my current favourite build is a Dark-elf Mage with devices as the main power, spells for phase, killing weak stuff and such. That is not possible anywhere else, although O comes close.
I was thinking Gnome Crossbow-Necromancer for the Black Blessing, but that doesn't do much does it? Would I be better off phasing around with sorcery? Or an Ent?
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Old June 15, 2011, 22:30   #4
camlost
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip View Post
The oath system pretty much prevents interesting combinations.
The oath system is designed to reward specialization in a game where otherwise you might be drawn to generalize. Oathes are not required to win or enjoy the game.
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Old June 19, 2011, 14:29   #5
artes
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Is it just me, or is Sangband much more difficult than Angband? (This is not a complaint, just an observation.)

I have problems already from dungeon level 3. Brain Ooze with confusion, Animated Daggers, Cobras that spit to make me blind, Skeleton Kobolds that are hardly harmed by swords, Knobblesticks that dodge everything... The early enemies are differentiated and have dangerous skills. They are much more challenging than in Angband. Also they seem to have a better AI for pathfinding.

Actually I think I remember the daggers and cobras from some time long ago. Maybe they were in an old version of Angband, or even in Moria?
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Old June 19, 2011, 17:30   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artes View Post
Is it just me, or is Sangband much more difficult than Angband? (This is not a complaint, just an observation.)

I have problems already from dungeon level 3. Brain Ooze with confusion, Animated Daggers, Cobras that spit to make me blind, Skeleton Kobolds that are hardly harmed by swords, Knobblesticks that dodge everything... The early enemies are differentiated and have dangerous skills. They are much more challenging than in Angband. Also they seem to have a better AI for pathfinding.

Actually I think I remember the daggers and cobras from some time long ago. Maybe they were in an old version of Angband, or even in Moria?
Yes, S is harder than V. So is Oangband, on which its combat and monster AI is based. Although we want to make V a little more challenging (mainly in the late game), I don't think we want to go this far.
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