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Old February 16, 2010, 04:56   #11
Marble Dice
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Originally Posted by z118 View Post
Aren't morning stars just as "edged?"
God works in mysterious ways.
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Old February 16, 2010, 06:20   #12
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
O-style combat changes this by making heavy weapons deal significantly more damage than light weapons, though the value of multiple blows isn't really de-emphasized.
I've been playing a lot of O while I waited for 3.1.2 to become more mac-friendly. Seems it is now and I'll be downloading it. But it sure has been refreshing playing a melee system that actually makes some sense in terms of incentives for weapon weight/damage/blows.
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Old February 16, 2010, 15:05   #13
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But it sure has been refreshing playing a melee system that actually makes some sense in terms of incentives for weapon weight/damage/blows.
There are several reasons why Angband's melee system doesn't make sense.

- Damage from enchantments quickly dwarfs the base damage dice on all but the heaviest of weapons. This fact, combined with readily available enchantment scrolls in the town, puts far too much emphasis on the number of blows.

- There's no consideration given to the difficulty of fighting with a particular weapon. A dagger, for example, is nowhere near long enough to effectively engage an opponent wielding a spear or a decent sword.

- There's no consideration given to the effects of armor on various types of weapons.

- The relative weights of weapons are arbitrarily chosen, and have little to do with weapon weights in the real world

- The blows calculation does not factor in the length of a weapon (which in many cases could significantly increase its inertia when swinging) or the weight of your character's arm (although there is a minimum weapon weight, which is similar)

Now I don't believe any game should aspire to a perfectly realistic model of combat. That wouldn't be fun. But it would be nice if the combat system made sense, such that a big beefy warrior should prefer to fight with a big weapon. Strength points should be a bonus, not to wield tiny weapons more effectively, but to wield larger weapons capable of more raw damage.

There are several ways to accomplish this, but I think the quickest and least controversial method is this: don't allow players to purchase stacks of enchantment scrolls in the town. If light weapons are not easily enchanted then they lose most of their appeal. Most players will find a superior, heavier weapon in the dungeon early on.
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Old February 16, 2010, 18:28   #14
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Originally Posted by RogerN View Post
don't allow players to purchase stacks of enchantment scrolls in the town. If light weapons are not easily enchanted then they lose most of their appeal. Most players will find a superior, heavier weapon in the dungeon early on.
I guess it depends on what you mean by "heavier" and "early on". I almost never enchant my melee weapons, taking what the dungeon has to offer, and I rarely use anything heavier than a trident [7 lb] except with a priest. A long sword is typically not useful. This continues until I find a splendid weapon. FA and brands are important enough to change the equation.
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Old February 16, 2010, 18:41   #15
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don't allow players to purchase stacks of enchantment scrolls in the town. If light weapons are not easily enchanted then they lose most of their appeal. Most players will find a superior, heavier weapon in the dungeon early on.
While I might agree with the principle you've identified, I vehemently disagree with your proposed solution. Preventing players from enchanting their lightweight weapons will not cause them to feel motivated to seek out a heavier one. They will instead seek out lightweight weapons in the dungeon that are randomly imbued with a high +damage value. Thus, you've now exacerbated the issue: the character's melee will suffer until he comes across such a weapon, at which point his melee will instantly skyrocket in efficacy.

If the combat system has a flaw, then address the system. The whole strength-dex-weapon-weight chart system is bizarre in and of itself. It could be replaced with something simpler, more formulaic, more sensible and more robust. Class and even character level could be taken into more sensible consideration. Heck, attacks per round needn't even be a constant; how many attacks a character receives each round could be a semi-random value within a range, based on various stats of the character as well as his target.
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Old February 16, 2010, 21:19   #16
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If the combat system has a flaw, then address the system. The whole strength-dex-weapon-weight chart system is bizarre in and of itself. It could be replaced with something simpler, more formulaic, more sensible and more robust.
A complete overhaul of the blows calculation would be my preference. Personally I'd put less emphasis on stats (although STR and DEX should still factor in) and more on character level, which currently isn't factored in at all. But even that would probably be controversial.

I would create a system in which # of blows increases linearly with character level, but STR and DEX also have limited effects.
- Use STR and possibly character class to calculate a "light weapon" limit and a "heavy weapon" limit
- If current weapon is classified as light, use DEX to apply a bonus (0 to 10?) to the character level which is used to calculate # of blows.
- Calculate number of blows based on character class and adjusted character level.
- If weapon was classified as heavy then reduce # of blows by at least 1, possibly more
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Old February 16, 2010, 21:46   #17
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One big difference with O-combat that no-one has mentioned is that everyone gets at least two blows. This evens things out a lot in the early game.
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Old February 16, 2010, 22:10   #18
RogerN
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One big difference with O-combat that no-one has mentioned is that everyone gets at least two blows. This evens things out a lot in the early game.
I've played so many variants which give a minimum of 2 blows that I'd forgotten Vanilla didn't do the same. It's a great improvement, IMO.
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Old February 16, 2010, 22:40   #19
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A complete overhaul of the blows calculation would be my preference. Personally I'd put less emphasis on stats (although STR and DEX should still factor in) and more on character level, which currently isn't factored in at all. But even that would probably be controversial.

I would create a system in which # of blows increases linearly with character level, but STR and DEX also have limited effects.
- Use STR and possibly character class to calculate a "light weapon" limit and a "heavy weapon" limit
- If current weapon is classified as light, use DEX to apply a bonus (0 to 10?) to the character level which is used to calculate # of blows.
- Calculate number of blows based on character class and adjusted character level.
- If weapon was classified as heavy then reduce # of blows by at least 1, possibly more
It's not even necessary to make this classification, arguably. Consider this process:

a) Calculate number of blows based on strength, up to some particular weapon weight limit determined by that strength.

b) Calculate number of blows based on dex, inversely proportional to the weapon weight.

c) Whichever is greater of (a) or (b), that's how many blows he gets.

Hence, a high-dex character will get much more blows with a lightweight weapon than a heavy one, and will favor the lightweight weapon. Whereas, a strong character gets some blows either way, so will favor the heavier weapon.

Better still, we could just add (a) and (b) together, and make (b) horribly small, or even zero, for heavy weapons. That's simpler, and more intuitive.

But I'm still extremely partial to the idea that extra blows be less step-like and more fluid. Combat's already step-like enough, the way the speed system works. And it's always seemed silly to me that a character can gain a tiny bit in dex or strength and suddenly and permanently double his combat prowess, from both the stances of realism and game balance.

Consider this system, if you will:

------------
BLOWS

The number of blows your character receives each time you attack in melee combat is determined by your blow chance (BC). Your character's blow chance starts as 100. This blow chance may increase based on your character's strength, dexterity, class and level, as follows:

Strength: If your strength is higher than 18; and you aren't using a weapon that's too heavy for you; then half of your strength percentage is added to your blow chance. For example: if you have 18/50 strength, then you add 25 to your blow chance.

Dexterity: If your dexterity is higher than 18; and you aren't using a weapon that's too heavy for you; then your blow chance is increased by (dexterity percentage * 5) divided by the weapon's weight (minimum weight 10). For example: if you have an 18/50 dexterity, and you're wielding a weapon weighing 10 pounds or less, then you add (50 * 5) / 10 = 25 to your blow chance.

Class and level: Blow chance is increased by the following amounts, based on character class and level:

Mage: +1/level
Paladin: +4/level
Priest: +2/level
Ranger: +3/level
Rogue: +3/level
Warrior: +5/level

For example, a level 15 warrior adds 75 to his blow chance.

Once your character's blow chance is calculated, it is applied as follows. For each multiple of 100 of your blow chance, you receive one blow. The remainder represents a percentage chance of getting one additional blow. For example, a blow chance of 340 means three blows, plus a 40% chance of a fourth blow, each time the character attacks.
------------

So in this system that I just made up, a brand-spanking-new level 1 warrior with an 18/50 strength and a crappy dex could wield a weapon as heavy as 50 pounds and still receive an average of 1.3 blows per round. Conversely, a new level 1 rogue with an amazing dex and crappy strength could wield a weapon weighing 10 pounds or less and get around the same number of blows (1.28). And a number-crunching high-strength, high-dex ranger could choose between the same heavy weapon as the warrior (1.28 blows), or a lightweight weapon that won't hit as hard but will result in 1.53 blows.

Around level 10 or so, these characters will all reliably be getting around 2 blows per round, occasionally 3. Around level 25 or so, 3 blows, sometimes 4. And so forth. Once they start getting strength and/or dex potions, each increase in stats will have a small but noticeable effect. Eventually, this change will be less noticeable, as it's a smaller proportional increase in their blow rates.

At level 50, a warrior with 18/220 strength and dex could either wield a 50-pound monster at 4.82 blows per round, or a lightweight 10-pound gizmo at 5.7 blows per round. That's pretty close to how things work now. Tweak as necessary.
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Old February 16, 2010, 22:58   #20
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If you want to smooth out the blows continuum, then instead of having a random chance of getting an extra blow, you should make each blow take a set amount of energy, which decreases as your STR/DEX/level/whatever increases. The current system charges you 100, 50, 33, 25, 20, etc energy per blow, depending on how many attacks per round you get. A "smoother" system would be able to charge any amount of energy, eliminating those huge steps. From a usability standpoint, each time you attack you could perform as many attacks as possible without costing more than 100 energy; or you could just do each attack one at a time (which in my experience isn't nearly so bad as it sounds).

I actually don't think that the logic for determining how you get extra blows is too bad. My recommended fix would be to cap +damage at the max damage dice of the weapon (so a dagger could never have more than +4 to damage) and then increase the dice of the heavier weapons.
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