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Old January 10, 2012, 13:39   #21
Magnate
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Estie View Post
Yesyes....but at least it was camouflaged among other more or less meaningfull messages about treasure. If somebody is worried about a "shop here" message, how can he possibly bear the naked "artifact here !" ? But you only get the message when the artifact would be lost forever! Oh the punishment!

Dungeon master versus player.
The more I think about this the more I am in agreement with this last sentence and inclined to remove feelings altogether. The number of people playing with preserve off is tiny: I wonder whether they would prefer a "special" message, or just to clear every level, or actually whether missing an artifact is a big deal (if it is, why would you play with preserve off?).

@Derakon: your lack of beef with the previous (pre-split) system misses the single biggest problem with it: special feelings from jelly pits.

@Estie: I've spent three years refining the object power algorithm to evaluate objects - it's far from perfect, but contrary to PowerWyrm's view I don't think many people think it's "horribly broken". I've always said I'll happily replace it with a better one if anyone comes up with one - if you have ideas to improve or replace it, please let me know. It's in src/obj-power.c in the source code.
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Old January 10, 2012, 14:10   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnate View Post
But an item with +3 CON, FA and rchaos will still fetch far more than the same item with +1 to all stats, so what's the problem? The boosts for related properties are to reflect the additional utility of covering whole sets of things with a single item (e.g. rbase, all sustains etc.). It's what makes Anarion correctly valued, and what makes armour of Resistance worth more than 4x armour of Resist Cold.

I think "badly broken" is unduly harsh, unless you are piqued about some specific changes since it was first introduced in 3.1.1. The one perennial problem with the algorithm has been pricing +speed properly, and this seems to have been addressed in v4 without too much controversy. (Speed power in v4 is linear at +20 per point, though prices are still quadratic.)

If you'd like to give me some specific examples of prices in the current dev version that you don't like, I'll happily see if I can improve things before 3.4 is released. "Pricing is broken for all wearables" is too generic for me to be able to deal with, I'm afraid.
Sorry if I sounded harsh there...

For example, you'd think a (moderately enchanted) blessed dagger with +2 wis and regen would cost much more than a plain lead-filled mace (equally enchanted). But they have almost the same price.
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Old January 10, 2012, 14:38   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PowerWyrm View Post
Sorry if I sounded harsh there...

For example, you'd think a (moderately enchanted) blessed dagger with +2 wis and regen would cost much more than a plain lead-filled mace (equally enchanted). But they have almost the same price.
Yes, this is a good example, because it exposes the assumption in the power algorithm that every weapon gets 5 blows. We obviously can't use an algorithm that uses the actual number of blows, because then the prices of weapons would change as your STR/DEX changed! So we have to assume something, and we've assumed 5 as the endgame average across all classes (not counting extra blows).

So, a 4d3 lead-filled mace is deemed to achieve 8+x average damage per blow (where x is its +dam), multiplied by 5 for 40+5x. If we say that x == +5 (my inference from your "moderately enchanted"), its power is 65. (It will also get a few more points from its plusses to-hit, if any, but let's assume it has +0 to-hit for the purposes of this comparison).

By contrast, a 1d4 dagger (+0,+5) will achieve 5 * (2.5 + 5) = 37.5 power from damage alone. It then gets 2 points for Regen (equivalent of +2 dam), and 4 points for +2 WIS (equivalent of +2 dam for each point). It does get a tiny increment for Blessed, but only 0.4 points (since it's only relevant to one class). That's a total of 43.9 power, which should make it less than half the cost of the lead-filled mace (since power is squared to reach price).

When I think back over the last three years, the damage-equivalent ratings of Regen and +WIS have both come down from their original positions, because people argued that high-end weapons were wrongly priced if damage wasn't king. This clearly results in damage being overvalued on weapons like the lead-filled mace in your example, which is going to lose out in preference to the dagger for most non-warrior characters for most of the early game (in the late game neither weapon would ever be wielded).

I've never found a way to square this circle: if the algorithm rates non-damage attributes correctly for the endgame, they are undervalued for the early game, and vice versa. I wonder if the new combat system in v4 will provide a way to avoid assuming a certain number of blows, and simply looking at a weapon's balance and heft instead. I haven't thought this through yet, but clearly the assumption of 5 blows with every weapon is problematic. If we assumed 4 blows with the dagger but only 2 with the mace in your example, the relative prices would be about right.

That's not the only problem, of course, but it's the biggest. Another perennial difficulty is rating things which are of vastly different utility to different classes (e.g. +WIS), and whose utility is dependent on what other gear you already have (which in turn depends on how rarely they occur). But the assumptions which delineate those issues don't seem to cause the sorts of anomalies caused by the assumption of 5 blows.

No offence taken - thanks for providing the example.
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Old January 10, 2012, 16:17   #24
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It sounds like the 5 blows assumption is the source of the problem there -- that's only valid in the late game, which is also when practically everyone no longer worries about the cost of their equipment.

One thing you could do is to vary how much you take weight into account with how much more damage the weapon gets over its base damage dice. The less extra damage the weapon gets, the less likely it is to be used in the endgame, and thus the more important weight is in determining how many blows are obtained.

(And here we are over in v4 with a completely different combat system, which I should really do some playtesting on...but I've been distracted by Real Life lately)
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Old January 10, 2012, 16:52   #25
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Weapon weight must be included, and also regen is MUCH more powerfull then +1 wis.

Actually not only weapon, but all items weight. Heavy items are less valuable.
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Old January 10, 2012, 17:34   #26
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I like level feelings b/c they encourage you to stick around on levels where you would normally be running like hell

I enjoy game features that push you towards making bad decisions.
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Old January 10, 2012, 18:14   #27
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Yeah, I'll chime in and say I like the split level feelings, but with the treasure feeling dependent on some exploration. If it took a bit longer to generate the feeling, that would be OK. And with minimum thresholds for certain items, like v4.

I have mixed feelings about the weapon discussion above. I guess in general damage should be devalued a bit. Maybe one solution would be to have the level feeling check the squelch, so if you don't care about daggers at all they won't contribute to the level feeling.
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Old January 10, 2012, 19:34   #28
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I think I'd like to pile onto the list of people wishing that some form of level feeling remain, more specifically a combined one. Nothing like a shop here sign, but something to help indicate that this is a level i may want to stay on (especially since you're not supposed to clear every level apparently).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnate View Post
I've never found a way to square this circle: if the algorithm rates non-damage attributes correctly for the endgame, they are undervalued for the early game, and vice versa. I wonder if the new combat system in v4 will provide a way to avoid assuming a certain number of blows, and simply looking at a weapon's balance and heft instead. I haven't thought this through yet, but clearly the assumption of 5 blows with every weapon is problematic. If we assumed 4 blows with the dagger but only 2 with the mace in your example, the relative prices would be about right.
2 points i have to make here:
* Why not just add a multipler for the non damage attributes based on clevel? Something like 1 + (1 - clevel / 50) as a rough example.
* Isn't it possible to do all these calculations based on what the player character could actually do with a weapon? So you go through and figure out the number of blows the character would have with X weapon and factor it into your power calcs.
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Old January 10, 2012, 23:24   #29
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I'm pretty sure that using Clvl or the characters abilities as a base for price is a bit skewed - even if it would work.
I just find the idea of shopkeepers charging YOU more because YOU would like that item better than uncle bob over there... a bit unsavory. It makes me feel like my high level warrior should be able to send in the town idiot with some cash, so he can buy that nice MOD for me at a discount.

of course, as you're the only adventurer really wandering around, shopkeepers raising their prices as you accumulate more wealth and buy more things doesn't sound all that unreasonable. them shopkeepers SHOULD see dollar signs when you walk in with 2.5 million gold - it's not like you can hide it in your back pocket. (even though it doesn't weigh anything or take up any inventory space... harrumph.)
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Old January 11, 2012, 15:36   #30
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Another two cents: I like the level feelings just the way they are, with the new split and the delayed treasure reading.

It's hard enough to find good gear in a reasonable amount of time without having to full-clear every level. Now I can roll through a few rooms and discover the level contains "naught but cobwebs", and continue with my dive instead of being bored for 15 minutes hacking through jackals and discovering weapons(+0,+0).

If the level feelings are done away with, are we going to guarantee interesting loot on every level?
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