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Old March 23, 2012, 05:40   #1
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Dead character feedback

I've been playing a half-troll paladin for awhile. He's dead now. So, time to wrap things up!

The dump's here so you can see his stats. In no particular order...

* Giant Rocs are overpowered. I compiled a list that sorts monsters from levels 36-60 by their average melee damage, multiplied by their speed (so e.g. a 1.5x multiplier for mature dragons). Giant Rocs are 9th from the top, and the only non-unique monster that beats them is the Death Mold. For reference, they're native to dlvl 40. If you divide the damage by the monster's native depth, and exclude unique monsters, then you get this list, where the Giant Roc is 5th from the top.

Now, this list ignores resistances; depending on the type of attack a monster has, it may deal more or less damage. But Rocs still have absurdly burly melee damage for their depth. Given that I remember them being nigh-absolute pushovers, I think someone overcompensated at some point.

* Stat gain is very slow. I don't know what the desired rate here is, but note that I only had two stats above 18 (by internal numbers). I'm pretty sure I saw less than 10 stat potions this entire game, counting !Charisma.

* Note the heavy crossbow in my home. I couldn't hit diddly with that thing, and when I did typically the bolts did pathetic damage. Orb of Draining, especially with my unaccountably high WIS, was much more reliable.

* Also note the total lack of artifacts. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it occurs to me that most of the artifacts in the game are going to be serious disappointments by the time they do get generated. If you're going to get 5 artifacts all game, all of them showing up after you've passed 3000', are you really going to want one of them to be Paurhach? I don't know what the right solution here is, though.

* We may want to revisit prowess/finesse values for the different classes. Paladins at least are overbiased towards prowess weapons, I think. When I died at clvl33 my innate finesse was 88 and prowess was 252. Granted this wasn't helped much by my pathetic DEX score of 12 -- but if it'd been 18/50 instead I'd only be up 54 points. The thing to realize is that players are going to tend to favor weapons that favor their stats, so even a slight bias in their stats gets emphasized by their weapons. For example, even if my finesse went from, say, 50 to 500, my blows would only go from 1.05 to 1.5 if I'm using a Great Hammer.

* Potions of Restore Mana are too common. I also found a lot of potions of Healing for a bit, then suddenly they stopped showing up. Might want to look at a plot of distribution of !Healing as a percentage of all items, with respect to depth.

* Cavernous levels need some work. Sub-items:
** It's very hard to run away from fights in caverns. Caverns have very simple layouts, and the straight-line distance between two points is only rarely much shorter than the distance monsters must travel. Monsters will rapidly track you down if you try to flee, even via teleport.
** The monster density is very high.
** You can't really use the terrain to control fights. Normal combat in Angband relies heavily on one-tile-wide corridors with right angles in them. There's the occasional chokepoint in cavernous levels, but it still typically leaves you in full view of a large number of monsters.
** Given the monster density and bad terrain, group monsters are particularly vicious, especially since they often end up being able to play keepaway (not charging) while still having you in LOS to deploy breath weapons / spells.
** There's very few items on the floor.
All said, I think caverns would work much better as a room type instead of a type for the entire dungeon.

* At some point ID-by-use of weapons and armor becomes unfeasible (because swapping gear around becomes dangerous, if nothing else). Currently that means you start examining the item for desirable affixes, and IDing the ones you think might be worthwhile. This breaks down when you consider weapons that can have lots of hidden affixes that boost dice, damage, and finesse, which could make them far more valuable than the weapons that have noticeable affixes but no significant dice or pluses.

My suggestion would be to make dice and pluses reveal on pseudo at some character level; at least by clvl 30. This would go with auto-ID-on-pickup at clvl 45 or whatever, which I know's been suggested before.
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